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On view

The Chief Goes Through

Artist: Ernest Leonard Blumenschein (American, 1874 - 1960)

Date: 1956
Medium: oil on canvas
30 1/8 x 40 inches (76.5 x 101.6 cm)
Frame: 35 1/2 × 45 1/2 × 2 1/4 inches (90.2 × 115.6 × 5.7 cm)
Classification: Paintings
Inscribed: "The Chief Goes Through." Never to be varnished. This would change all values E.L.B. (reverse, upper left, on stretcher); April to Oct 1956 - by Ernest L. Blumenschein Taos New Mexico U.S.A. please box at Museum/ This is the expenses prepaid to W.S. Budworth and son/ 424 W. 52nd New York NY (on reverse, painted); HJL Stark Box 201 Orange, Texas Nelda C. Stark (tacking edge, hand written)
Signed: E L BLUMENSCHEIN 1956 (lower right)
Credit Line: Partial Bequest of H.J. Lutcher Stark, 1965 and Partial Gift of Nelda C. Stark, 1973
Object number: 31.30.9
Accession Number: 1965.2.516
Label Text:Blumenschein evoked modernism in style and subject in this work. He used a high viewpoint, simplification of shapes, and bold patterning of lines. The artist’s subject is a scene of passenger and freight trains. Artists of the nineteenth century had painted trains traveling through the western landscape. They signaled the conquest of the continental crossing. Blumenschein made the urban railyard his focus. He celebrated modern technology. The painting’s title adds an ironic twist. The “Chief” refers to the name of a sleek, speedy train. Yet the title conjures up common western art depictions of Indian chiefs.
Provenance: Artist; purchased June 23, 1957 by H.J. Lutcher Stark [1887-1965][1]; ½ interest bequeathed September 2, 1965 to the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation; remaining ½ interest gifted June 15, 1973 to the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation; accessioned to the Stark Museum of Art | 1. Owned jointly by H.J. Lutcher Stark and Nelda C. Stark until his death at which point his ½ interest was bequeathed to the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation.