Details
Oscar Edmund Berninghaus (1874-1952)
Natural Bridge
signed 'O.E. Berninghaus' (lower right)
oil on board laid down on panel
21 x 4278 in. (53.3 x 108.9 cm.)
Painted circa 1914.
Provenance
The artist.
August A. Busch, Sr., St. Louis, Missouri, commissioned from the above.
August A. Busch, Jr., St. Louis, Missouri, 1976.
Gift to the present owner from the above.
Literature
Saint Louis Art Museum, “1976 Acquisitions,” Bulletin, vol. 13, no. 3, June 1977, p. 106.
G.E. Sanders, Oscar E. Berninghaus, Taos, New Mexico: Master Painter of American Indians and the Frontier West, Taos, New Mexico, 1985, p. 128.
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Lot Essay

This work will be included in the Kodner Gallery Research Project on the artist, Oscar Edmund Berninghaus, 1874-1952.


Saint Louis, Missouri, native Oscar Berninghaus is perhaps best known for having been an active member of the Taos Society of Artists, a position that established him as one of the leading painters of the American West. His success in this area was, however, grounded in his earlier work as a commercial draftsman and illustrator. The talents that Berninghaus honed during this time, including a unique propensity towards accuracy, a sureness of brushstroke and line, and a focus on storytelling, fueled his great success throughout his career.

The present work, as well as Lot 35, are part of an extraordinary collection of Berninghaus’ work completed for the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company of St. Louis. The patronage of the Busch family provided pivotal financial support for Berninghaus as he fulfilled commissions for calendars and promotional prints. The artist also became a close friend and frequent guest of the Busch family at their estate, Grant’s Farm. The present work closely relates to a series of advertising lithographs commissioned to depict scenes from the discovery and settlement of America, particularly the American West.
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