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Sketch of Mexicans

On view

Sketch of Mexicans

Artist: Frank Tenney Johnson (American, 1874 - 1939)

Medium: charcoal on canvas
Dimensions:
16 1/4 x 22 1/8 inches (41.3 x 56.2 cm)
Frame: 17 1/4 × 23 1/8 × 1 3/4 inches (43.8 × 58.7 × 4.4 cm)
Classification: Paper
Inscribed: CHARCOAL SKETCH OF MEXICANS (reverse on stretcher red ink)
Credit Line: Bequest of H.J. Lutcher Stark, 1965
Object number: 31.22.5
Accession Number: 1965.2.227
Label Text:Cowboys who disregard the law become outlaws. Johnson’s sketch is a preliminary drawing for an oil painting he completed in 1925. Contrabandista a la Frontera, or Smuggler on the Border, belongs to the Sid Richardson Museum, Fort Worth, Texas. That title sheds light on the narrative. A Mexican rider, identifiable by his high-crowned sombrero, cradles a rifle, ready for danger. Behind him is the beginning of a pack train and another rider. On the trail, he meets two cowboys. Their smaller-crowned hats indicate they are from further north. One of them dismounts, probably for the exchange. Over the years, the border between the two countries has witnessed various types of smuggling.
Provenance: C. Bland Jamison, Santa Fe, New Mexico; purchased November 23, 1960 by H.J. Lutcher Stark [1887-1965]; bequeathed September 2, 1965 to the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation; accessioned to the Stark Museum of Art
Exhibitions:
  • Cowboy Legends and Life
  • The Drawing Experience