Embudo, New Mexico: 1915. Original color crayon drawing. Dated and titled in the image. Signed, dated and titled on the support sheet. 8 x 6.5 inches
Provenance: Part of a portfolio of original works given to the collector Natalie Williams on June 1, 1937 by Wall. Natalie Williams, was the sister-in-law of the Texas collector N.C. Matthewson of Marshall, Texas, and both were owners of the Made-Rite Company. She was a patroness of artists and an art donor to Texas A & M University.
Bernhardt Wall was born in Buffalo, New York on Dec. 30, 1872. He studied at the Buffalo Art Student’s League then moved on to study in New York under Henry Reuterdahl and also apprenticed under William Auerbach-Levy. Wall began a career as a lithographic illustrator in 1889 working primarily as a commercial artist in New York and Buffalo. He soon became known as the "Postcard King" and designed over 5,000 comic cards. The year1915 marked a defining point in Wall’s artistic career. Wall visited Colorado, Nevada and California making etchings of Indians, cowboys and major cities which were later published in a portfolio entitled, "Under Western Skies." These proved to be very successful and the artist shortly thereafter moved to California permanently. Wall continued to produce many fine etchings of the American West and by 1930 had also become a much respected historian of the region.
Bernhardt Wall was unique in that he not only drew the etchings for his books, but he also printed and bound them. His books are in libraries and universities around the world including the British Museum, Library of Congress, the libraries of Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and Brown Universities. His works were also in the private collections of J. P. Morgan, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Henry C. Frick and Dr. N.C. Mathewson. Wall etched three sitting presidents of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, Warren Taft, and Henry Coolidge. Other prominent individuals etched by Wall include Sam Houston, Mark Twain, Thomas A. Edison, Abraham Lincoln, and Andrew Jackson.
Artist and historian, Bernhardt Wall (1872-1956) was a pioneer etcher and producer of fine press books who treated a vast array of subjects, including Texas and the Southwest. Historians of fine press printing have compared him to William Blake. This collection of Wall’s scrapbooks, publications, and correspondence was built by collector Natalie Williams of Marshall, Texas. Item #51-2458