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Borein (Edward) Drawings
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Scope and Contents
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing History
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Biographical Note
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Arrangement

  • Contributing Institution: Library and Archives at the Autry
    Title: Edward Borein Drawings
    Creator: Borein, Edward
    Creator: Lummis, Charles Fletcher
    Identifier/Call Number: MS.669
    Physical Description: 2 Linear Feet (2 document boxes, 1 portfolio box)
    Date (inclusive): 1895-1986
    Abstract: (John) Edward Borein (1873 October 21 - 1945 May 19) was a prominent and prolific artist of Western themes who created illustrations, oil and watercolor paintings, and etchings. Collection consists of 234 pencil drawings and watercolors by Ed Borein, sketches, photographs, cards, and brochures about Borein's career. Images are mostly of Plains Indian clothing and objects.
    Language of Material: English .
    Container: 1
    Container: 2

    Scope and Contents

    The Edward Borein Drawings contains illustrations created by artist Ed Borein, as well as photographs, exhibition booklets, and newspaper clippings relating to his work. The bulk of Borein's illustrations are of Plains Indian clothing and objects, but there are also three 1895 pen and ink drawings of cowboys and prints of his work on 10 undated holiday greeting cards, as well as oversized watercolors.
    There are 8 black and white photographs and cyanotype prints of Ed Borein with Ethel Harmar, Charles Russell, and an unidentified woman.
    The exhibition catalogs include Etchings of the Far West by Edward Borein from a 1917 March 23-April 14 exhibit at Frederick Keppel and Co. and from an undated exhibit of the same name at El Paseo Santa Barbara, California. Another exhibition booklet is from Drawings and Watercolors Edward Borein 1873-1945, shown at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in 1965 July 27-September 5. There is also catalog No. 6 from Peggy Christian bookseller featuring Borein items, and two prints of broncos from Sunset Magazine, 1905 February and 1906 January.
    Newspaper clippings include "A Second Frederic Remington" by Edwin Emerson from Columbian Magazine, volume 2, number 4 from 1910 July, "Borein Collection Tells Saga of Western Indians" by Elinor Hayes from the Santa Barbara News-Press, 1940 April 6, and "Bradford Brinton Memorial Quarter Circle A Ranch, Big Horn, Wyoming" from The Sheridan Press, 1986.

    Preferred Citation

    Edward Borein Drawings, 1895-1986, Braun Research Library Collection, Autry Museum of the American West, Los Angeles; MS.669.

    Processing History

    Biographical note created by Maritxu de Alaiza, 2012 July 19. Processing of collection and publication of finding aid made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). Additions made 2015 September 4 by Mallory Furnier.

    Conditions Governing Use

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Autry Museum of the American West. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Research Services and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Autry Museum of the American West as the custodian of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Conditions Governing Access

    Appointments to view materials are required. To make an appointment please visit https://theautry.org/research-collections/library-and-archives  and fill out the Researcher Application Form.

    Biographical Note

    (John) Edward Borein (1873 October 21 - 1945 May 19) was a prominent and prolific artist of Western themes who created illustrations, oil and watercolor paintings, and etchings. Borein was self-taught and his works appeared frequently in magazines as illustrations and cover art.
    He had a deep affection for the "Indian country" of the Southwest, as well as that of Montana, Southern Canada, and Mexico. He often visited these places studying Native customs and compiling a tremendous collection of Native costumes and artifacts.
    Borein had the habit of drawing from memory and virtually never used a model. In his later years, he sometimes made photographs or films to check for the accuracy of his rendering of fast-moving animals, but these were typically viewed once and discarded.
    Borein was born in San Leandro County in California in 1873 to Peter Rouble Borein of Chicago (1839-1901) and Annie Blake Borein of Montreal (1851-1928). His parents were married on 1871 December 9 and moved to Oakland shortly after his birth. Borein was the oldest of 5 children, followed by Peter Rouble, Charles Ashley, Lucinda Pope, and Annie Blake. His parents had a tempestuous relationship and eventually separated although they managed to maintain friendly terms afterwards.
    Borein's interest in art began at an early age. He was particularly interested in sketching cattle and vaqueros as subjects and he was a great admirer of Frederic Remington.
    He left school at the age of 17 and found work as a ranch hand. In the evenings, after his work was done, Borein would sketch what he had seen each day by the light of a kerosene lamp. Borein returned to Oakland in 1891 and his mother enrolled him in the San Francisco Art Association Art School, which he attended for one month. In 1984, while working at the Rancho Jesús María as a ranch hand, Borein sent some of his sketches to Charles F. Lummis, founder of the Southwest Museum and publisher of the Land of Sunshine magazine. At the age of 21, Borein had sold his first drawing to Charles Lummis for $15.
    Borein's work first appeared in the Land of Sunshine August 1896 edition. His drawing served as an illustration for the story "The Old California Vaquero" by Flora Hughes Loughead (Loughead was commonly known as "the mother of Lockheed Corporation" as her sons Allan and Malcolm Loughead founded what would eventually become the Lockheed Aircraft Company in Hollywood, California).
    Borein eventually travelled to Mexico where he spent two years before returning to his home near Oakland, California.
    In 1907, at the age of 34, Borein moved to New York City and took up the technique of etching at the Art Students League. He also adopted watercolor, which are now considered to be his rare works of art. At the age of 45, Borein met Lucille Maxwell, and gave up his bachelor lifestyle. They were married after a brief courtship on 1921 June 27 at El Alisal, Lummis' home in Los Angeles, California. The couple settled in Santa Barbara, California where they built a home and adjacent art studio called La Barranca. Borein also kept a studio in town where his works were sold.
    Edward Borein died suddenly after complaining of chest pains on the 19th of May in 1945 at the age of 73.
    References: Davidson, H. G. (1974). Edward Borein cowboy artist. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc. Galvin, J. (1971). The etchings of Edward Borein. San Francisco, CA: John Howell – Books. Reynold, B. (2001). "Lummis, Borein and The Land of Sunshine," Ranch & Reata Magazine, April/May. p. 96 – 101. Spaulding, E. S. (Ed.) (1952). Ed Borein's West. Santa Barbara, CA: Press of The Schauer Printing Studio, Inc.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Confidential gift to the Southwest Museum, 1951 October 2.


    Arranged by size, format.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Indians of North America -- Material culture -- Great Plains -- Pictorial works
    Indians of North America -- Clothing -- Great Plains -- Pictorial works
    West (U.S.) -- Pictorial works