Stark Museum of Art

Orange, Texas



E. M. Hennings in Taos


E. M. Hennings in Taos, on exhibit through June 2000, features the work of renowned Taos artist Ernest Martin Hennings (1886-1956).

Martin Hennings was born in Penns Grove, New Jersey, and developed an interest in art at a young age. He later graduated from the Chicago Art Institute and moved to Europe shortly before World War I. While in Europe he continued to refine his artistic abilities. The onset of World War I, however, forced Hennings to move back to Chicago. Here he became employed as a commercial artist and produced murals for churches and other public buildings in the realistic style he developed in Europe.

At the suggestion of an influential art patron, Hennings moved to Taos, New Mexico, where he found a new outlet for his creative energies. In 1924 he was elected to the prestigious Taos Society of Artists. The influence of Taos can be easily discerned in Hennings' work. Not only did his palette brighten in response to the bright and intense New Mexico sunlight, but also the subjects represented speak wholly of the region.

Hennings thought of himself as a painter of figures rather than landscapes, but in Hennings' own words, "New Mexico has almost made a landscape painter of me...." Subsequently, his work reveals a quiet interlude between man and nature. This peaceful atmosphere speaks of the influence of nature upon the artist.

It was in this period that the Starks traveled to Taos in the summers and developed a lifelong friendship with the artist and purchased many of his works. Hennings, in turn, traveled to Orange on several occasions to visit with the Starks. The Stark Museum of Art houses one of the largest collections of Hennings' work in the United States. The current exhibit features portraits, landscapes and rural scenes that personify the spirit of New Mexico.


Read more about the Stark Museum of Art in Resource Library Magazine

For further biographical information please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

rev. 11/22/10

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