Gallery Artists > William Penhallow Henderson Biography :

William Penhallow Henderson (1877 - 1943)  Artworks >>

Born in Medford, Massachusetts, William Penhallow Henderson became a painter of Indian motifs, especially New Mexico pueblo dance figures. His work conveyed a highly personal sense of the viewer being with the subjects of his painting, and it was said that he saw beauty everywhere in his surroundings. He spent much of an unstable childhood with a family that followed the father to a Texas cattle ranch, back to Medford, to a small Kansas town where his father was a banker, and then East again in 1891. He studied at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts with Edmund Tarbell and won a Paige Traveling Scholarship that allowed him to travel and study in Europe for three years beginning 1901. There he was greatly influenced by the styles of Cezanne, Van Gogh, Renoir and Whistler. He then taught in Chicago at the Academy of Fine Arts, painted murals in the Chicago public schools, and designed scenery and costumes for the Chicago Fine Arts Theatre. He married poet Alice Corbin, and the two collaborated on children's books with him doing the illustrations. In 1916, having spent several summers in the Southwest, the couple moved to Santa Fe where he became an active mural painter, architectural and furniture designer, using Indian and Hispanic images. His studio was on the Camino de Monte Sol, and in 1923, he was one of the founders of the New Mexico Painters Society. He also painted in Arizona. His 1904 painting, Hopi Kachina Dance, is the earliest extant Arizona work, and from 1916, he painted many Indian ceremonies in Arizona as well as New Mexico. Walpi Snake Dance is dated 1920, and in style is described as being "emotive rather than anthropological, drawing on the influence of French Post-Impressionist painter, Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) and the Nabi painters of the 1890s." (138) As owner of the Pueblo-Spanish Building Company in Santa Fe, he designed Sena Plaza and the Wheelright Museum, then called the Museum of Navajo Ceremonial Art, which won an award in 1938 from the Architectural League of New York. In the entrance he sculpted a mural of a corn plant. Reference:

*Note: information presented on is subject to errors, omissions, price changes or withdrawal.