alt="Santa Barbara Historical Museum"

John Edward Borein: THE VAULT COLLECTION

No other artist captured the "disappearing West" with the accuracy and vivacity of John Edward Borein (1872-1945). A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Edward Borein rode south in 1893 at the age of twenty-one, and over the next few years, he worked his way through California and the vast length of Mexico. While on the range, the young cowboy sketched from the saddle in his spare time during the day, and then refined his lines with pen and ink in the evening.

By 1900, Borein had returned to Oakland to set up his first art studio, and in 1907, he moved to New York to further his career. It was back East that his popularity mounted, and in New York, Borein sold his etchings and watercolors, and found constant work as a magazine and advertisement illustrator. Due to the realism his art portrayed, and the true Western cowboy spirit it invoked, Edward Borein was quickly branded the "cowpuncher artist" by his friends and artist peers.

In 1921, Borein settled in Santa Barbara and opened a studio in the historic El Paseo complex, and it was here that Ed found his true calling. According to biographer Harold Davidson, "By this time Borein was aware of what he was doing, and told his friends many times he was documenting the Old West as he had lived and seen it. Every detail of horse, rider, saddle and gear, longhorn, and Indian had to be right. There are many stories of some detail of an etching being challenged, but the artist remained adamant, and usually was proven correct."

Edward Borein also proved quite prolific and produced over three hundred different etchings, a multitude of watercolors and ink drawings, and a handful of oil paintings. Today, this outstanding body of work gives us a glimpse into the authentic American West, from the perspective of a true cowboy and Santa Barbara's beloved "cowpuncher artist."

» Click on any image below to view it »

La Cantina de Las Palomas

La Cantina de Las Palomas, No. 2
John Edward Borein (American, 1872-1945)
Etching and drypoint
9 x 11 inches
Gift of Mrs. Kennedy Hamill
In memory of her husband
1965.191.24

End of the Race

End of the Race
John Edward Borein (American, 1872-1945)
Etching and drypoint
7 x 11 inches
Gift of Frances (Mrs. Harold) Sheets
1965.89.2

Grass Hunters

Grass Hunters, No. 1
John Edward Borein (American, 1872-1945)
Etching and drypoint
7 x 9 inches
Gift of Mrs. Kennedy Hamill
In memory of her husband
1965.191.14

Her Calf

Her Calf
John Edward Borein (American, 1872-1945)
Etching and drypoint
4 x 9 inches
Gift of Lucille (Mrs. Edward) Borein
1978.65.13

Indian Chiefs

Indian Chiefs
John Edward Borein (American, 1872-1945)
Etching, drypoint, and aquatint
9 x 11 inches
Museum Acquisition Fund
Through the generosity of Astrid and Lawrence Hammett
2010.45.5

Landscape with Rider

Landscape with Rider
John Edward Borein (American, 1872-1945)
Graphite on paper
7 x 11 inches
Gift of Lucille (Mrs. Edward) Borein
1978.65.38 ett

Little Bucking Horse

Little Bucking Horse
John Edward Borein (American, 1872-1945)
Etching and drypoint
4 x 3 inches
Gift of Don Kilbourne Estate
1978.61.14

Los Caballeros

Los Caballeros
John Edward Borein (American, 1872-1945)
Watercolor on paper
7 x 9 inches
Gift of Lucille (Mrs. Edward) Borein
1965.78.59

Los Charros

Los Charros
John Edward Borein (American, 1872-1945)
Etching and drypoint
8 x 14 inches
Gift of William H. Bluhm
1967.178.10

Mission Carmel

Mission Carmel
John Edward Borein (American, 1872-1945)
Etching and drypoint
8 x 12 inches
Gift of William H. Bluhm
1967.178.5

Mission Santa Barbara

Mission Santa Barbara in Spanish Times
[Sketch for the etching Mission Santa Barbara No. 1]
John Edward Borein (American, 1872-1945)
Pen and ink on paper
16 x 22 inches
Gift of Lucille (Mrs. Edward) Borein
1978.65.69R

Sitting Pretty

Sitting Pretty, No. 1
John Edward Borein (American, 1872-1945)
Etching and drypoint
6 x 4 inches
Gift of Lucille (Mrs. Edward) Borein
1978.54

Tending the Herds

Tending the Herd
John Edward Borein (American, 1872-1945)
Watercolor on paper
9 x 14 inches
Gift of Harold A. Parma Estate
1998.30.1

Three Cowboys on Horse

Three Cowboys on Horse at Rest
John Edward Borein (American, 1872-1945)
Pen and ink on paper
8 x 10 inches
Gift of Lucille (Mrs. Edward) Borein
x.3.78.65.47 ce

Trail Boss

Trail Boss
John Edward Borein (American, 1872-1945)
Etching and drypoint
7 x 8 inches
Gift of Harold A. Parma Estate
1998.42.18

Two Horsemen

Two Horsemen Surveying a Canyon
John Edward Borein (American, 1872-1945)
Watercolor and gouache on paper
6 x 4 inches
Gift of Lucille (Mrs. Edward) Borein
1978.65.57