A rare opportunity to acquire a **self-portrait** watercolor painting by important California and western American artist EDWARD BOREIN (1872-1945). The work is painted on vellum paper, and measures 4" by 3 1/2" (13 1/2" by 13" as framed). It is signed with Borein's distinctive "B" at lower right, and judging from the image, was likely created when Borein would have been in his 70's, in the early 1940's. Affixed to the backing is a photocopy of a handwritten note: "Original watercolor self-portrait of Edward Borein/sold to Dr. Otey Johnson/by Davison (author of Borein Etchings)/and given D.S. Randolph 1980//self-portrait painted on same vellum Borein did ink drawings. mounted, date? / purchased 5/20/04 Gene Schwartzman mounted & framed 5/04". The provenance is outstanding; the note refers to Harold Davidson (died 2003), a noted expert on all things Borein; and Dr. Otey Johnson was a noted Oklahoma collector of western American art. Davidson was a dealer and appraiser of fine western art, based in Santa Barbara. He came to realize after conducting research that Borein was underrated as an artist, so he began to accumulate works and ultimately became an authenticator, promoting Borein's place in the hierarchy of western American art. The works he sold were catalogued in the published "The Western Art Catalogues of Harold G. Davidson 1964-1994". Borein was born near Oakland, California not all that long after the Gold Rush. Surrounded by ranches in those early days, he was fascinated by cowboys and cattle. While young he traveled the American Southwest, Mexico and Guatemala. After some brief formal training, his fellow students Maynard Dixon and Jimmie Swinnerton, he became a staff artist for the San Francisco Call newspaper. Borein spent some time in New York, where he became interested in etching. Later in life, his drawings were widely published in a number of national publications. He returned to Santa Barbara, California, becoming a local celebrity before passing away in 1945. The drawing is pasted or otherwise glued down to backing and there is a diagonal crease as seen, at right. Borein was noted for drawing on almost any scrap of paper that would have been handy.
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