Borein and His Circle of Friends

An exhibition by
Marlene R. Miller, Guest Curator

John Edward Borein, acclaimed for his accurate depictions of the American West, is one of Santa Barbara’s most important artists.

By settling here in 1921 he only added to the city’s reputation as a significant art colony, a reputation which had been developing since the 1870s and was further enhanced with the opening of the Santa Barbara School of the Arts in 1920.  Borein counted many talented artists as friends and colleagues, over twenty of whom are represented in this major exhibition.

Among these are Charles Russell, Carl Oscar Borg, Frank Tenney Johnson, Colin Campbell Cooper, Maynard Dixon, Thomas Moran, Alexander Harmer and more – truly a stunning array of talent.

The exhibition also includes twenty-five extraordinary restored watercolors by Edward Borein, from the collection of a Santa Barbara family.

Open to the Public:  September 22, 2021 - January 22, 2022

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Museum will host a number of presentations on the life and artistry of Edward Borein.  Speakers include Michael Grauer from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma, Jeremy Tessmer from Santa Barbara’s Sullivan Goss Gallery and B. Byron Price, author of our forthcoming book, Edward Borein:  Etched by the West.

Exhibition Opening

Wednesday, September 22
5:30-7:00 PM
RSVP Required HERE

Join us for an opportunity to view the exhibition and to toast the opening of Borein and His Circle of Friends!

Exhibition Talks

By Michael R. Grauer
Wednesday, September 29
5:00 PM
Register HERE

Mr. Grauer is the McCasland Chair of Cowboy Culture and Curator of Cowboy Collections at the Western Art National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.   Mr. Grauer holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in art history from the University of Kansas; the Master of Arts in art history from Southern Methodist University; and the Master of Arts in history from West Texas A&M University.  He was the University of Kansas Kress Foundation Department of Art History’s distinguished alumnus for 2012. He has curated over 150 exhibitions on Western art, culture, and history and authored 65 publications, and his book, Making a Hand: The Art of H. D. Bugbee, received the Western History Association Wrangler Award for Best Western Art Book for 2020.

By Byron Price
Wednesday, October 20
5:30 PM
Talk & Book Signing

Reservation Required, click HERE

The book is available for purchase in our Museum Store or online:

The life and art of Edward Borein (1872-1945) is the subject of our new book by B. Byron Price, one of the foremost scholars of the art of the American West.  Mr. Price has woven hundreds of little-known details of Borein’s experiences in his native California as well as in Mexico and New York into a fascinating history, and an appreciation of the artist’s abilities in several mediums, especially as an etcher.

Until his recent retirement B. Byron Price held the Charles Marion Russell Memorial Chair and was Director of the Charles M. Russell Center for the Study of Art of the American West at the University of Oklahoma, Norman. He is the former director of the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas; the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center in Oklahoma City; and the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming and is the author of numerous books and articles on western American history and art.

By Jeremy Tessmer
Wednesday, November 10
5:30 PM
Reservation Required, Click HERE.

Jeremy Tessmer will speak about the artist and his many friends from the Santa Barbara years, among them Colin Campbell Cooper, Frank Morley Fletcher, John Gamble, Alexander Harmer, Childe Hassam, Albert Herter, Clarence Mattei, Thomas Moran, William Louis Otte, DeWitt and Douglass Parshall, and Alexis Podchernikoff.

Mr. Tessmer is an art historian and gallery director at Sullivan Goss: An American Gallery in Santa Barbara. At the gallery he is also the curator of nineteenth and twentieth century American art.

Maynard Dixon (1875 – 1946) Wild Horses of Nevada, 1927
Oil on canvas.  Collection of the Karges Family Trust Carmel, CA

James Guilford Swinnerton (1875 – 1974) Valley Cloud Shadows in Monument Valley
Oil on linen.  Collection of Palm Springs Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Magee.

The exhibition is sponsored by Eleanor Van Cott, Louise Clarke and John Carbon.

Our sincerest appreciation to the individuals and institutions who have lent their treasures to this remarkable endeavor.

Anticipated release: October 2021
To pre-order the book,

The exhibition also celebrates our new book by Byron Price, one of the foremost scholars of the art of the American West.   The long awaited publication traces Borein’s extraordinary career from a self-taught recorder of the life of an itinerant ranch hand to a highly successful commercial artist in New York to his many years in Santa Barbara as a revered member of the city’s artist community.

Richly illustrated with more than four hundred images and drawings, watercolors and oil paintings as well as etchings this book complements the Santa Barbara Historical Museum’s permanent Edward Borein Gallery, and affirms the Historical Museum as the premier location to absorb the artistry and historical contributions of one of the most important portrayers of the American West.