Saturday, July 28, 2018

A Vaquero of Old Santa Barbara

July 28, 2018
   Here's a real life vaquero and artist who I greatly admire.

One of my heroes on a white mule

   If this looks somewhat familiar it's because I did a painting from this photograph called "The Hacendado." I had forgotten that I used this image, or that it was Ed Borein himself in the photo.

   Ed actually worked as a vaquero in Baja and Chihuahua, and other parts of Mexico, in 1897 and so he was steeped in the traditions and training methods of the old vaqueros, and his drawings show it:

"A Rurale" by Ed Borein

   He was from the Oakland, California area and, in fact, he lived in New York City for 14 years but he finally came home to the West and settled in Santa Barbara where he had his last studio. I have long wanted to visit this studio and wondered if I could find it, or, if it still existed. As you may know, I am a nut about standing where they stood (see O.K. Corral).

   Well, I got my chance today, because I am in Santa Barbara for a wedding, and of course, this morning I went straight to the Santa Barbara Historical Museum where I found, much to my delight, they have honored Ed with his own art gallery:

Edward Borein Riding High in Santa Barbara

   In addition to the excellent artwork by Ed, they have a wing of the museum dedicated to the local "Old Spanish Days Fiesta" and it too has some treasures:

A Classic Fiesta poster from the early days

They have a short film that shows off some serious Spanish dancing. . .

. . . and, of course, some cheesy Senorita cheese.

The film also has a cameo by Ida Lupino (at left) who was either just starting out in the biz, or, she didn't want to be noticed.

One guy who did want to be noticed was a fellow kid from Kingman, Andy Devine, who plays a bumbling matador.

   Thanks to directions from one of the docents, I was able to locate, a mere two blocks from the museum, Ed's studio.

Ed Borein standing outside his
Santa Barbara studio

BBB Standing at the exact same spot.

   I don't know why, but standing on the same spot makes me real happy. As my wife likes to say, when it comes to all things Western, I am "easily amused." (By the way, we were married 39 years ago today)

"Ed Borein was a 'character'—one of those uncommon people who personal traits and abilities are sufficiently different from those of their fellows to set them apart as something unique."
—Dr. Irving Wills

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