Ernest Hennings

(1886-1956)

Ernest Hennings, born in 1886, studied for five years at the Art Institute of Chicago and also at the Munich Royal Academy. He returned to Chicago after his studies in Germany at the outbreak of WWI. Hennings became a muralist and commercial artist and was sent by his patron, Charles Harrison, to Taos in 1921. Hennings then became known for is portrayal of American Indians. Hennings was considered a classicist, blending academic style with decorative line of Art Noveau. He was quite successful in unifying the human figure with a natural setting. To give the illusion of sunshine and outdoor atmosphere, Henning applied the oil pain thinly in sheer layering strokes and allowed it to dry for long periods before varnishing. Hennings was commissioned by the Santa Fe Railroad to complete a series at the Navajo Reservation and died soon after in 1956. These paintings were later used for calendars.