Ernest L. Blumenschein (1874-1960)
White Sun (1927)
oil on canvas
26 x 13 inches
signed and dated lower left
A copy of a 1927 letter from the artist to the original buyer will accompany the lot.
The letter states, “His [White Sun’s] Spanish name is Juan Martinez and he is known as ‘Big John’ to distinguish him from another of the same name.
“His father is Mauresio Martinez, a famous character, who in his boyhood had a fight with another Pueblo which ended disastrously, for Mauresio in his anger threw a stone at his adversary, killing him outright. For this act he was sentenced to forever live outside the community wall. And to this day, he is now over ninety, he lives in a single house just beside the wall, and his children, still faithful to the old man, live with him.”
White Sun was originally purchased by Joseph S. Cullinan, a Houston oilman who was the founder of a Texas company, later known as Texaco. He was a philanthropist and city leader. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, has a Cullinan Hall to honor the family, funded largely by Joseph S. Cullinan’s daughter Nina, also a great patron of the arts.
Joseph S. Cullinan, Houston, TX 1927
Present owners, by descent
Surface condition is very good. Painting has been lined. Hairline cracking throughout. Small spots of inpainting in in Indian’s hair; and in Indian’s clothing.