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Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum to Display Art of the American West in ‘Borrowed Borein’ Exhibit

A watercolor painting depicting a vaquero show by Edward Borein. An exhibit featuring Borein’s work will be on display at the Santa Ynez Velley Historical Museum. Click to view larger
A watercolor painting depicting a vaquero show by Edward Borein. An exhibit featuring Borein’s work will be on display at the Santa Ynez Velley Historical Museum. (Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum photo)

The Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum is proud to present “Borrowed Borein — Art of the West from the Diverse Collections of Valley Residents.”

This newest exhibit at the Historical Museum opens Saturday, June 4, 2016, with a reception and talk Bill Reynolds about Edward Borein (1872-1945) and his artwork.

Reynolds has studied and written extensively about Borein, who was nicknamed “the cowpuncher artist” by his friends and colleagues. 

This exhibit, comprising Borein art from the private collections of Santa Ynez Valley residents and special collections from Santa Barbara museums and galleries, will provide an opportunity to see the wide variety of artistic accomplishments achieved by Edward Borein from his prolific etchings for which he is best known to his vivid watercolors and rare oil paintings.

Curated by Jim and Linda Grimm, long time Western art collectors, the “Borrowed Borein” exhibit captures the Western ranching life that Ed Borein so loved through the variety of art pieces loaned from Valley residents’ collections.

Edward Borein was born in northern California and grew up with a passion for the culture of the American West.  When he was only five years old Borein started sketching the cattle, cowboys, horses and carriages that passed through his hometown.

As a young man, Borein lived the cowboy life on ranches throughout southern California, Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico.  All the while he would draw the rancho culture that surrounded him.

Ed Borein Click to view larger
Ed Borein (Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum photo)

For a time, Borein left his beloved southwest to begin a career in New York as a advertisement illustrator. Missing his earlier years of riding and sketching, even though he was successful in New York, Borein returned to California and eventually settled in Santa Barbara where his home in the El Paseo complex became a popular meeting place for fellow artists, writers and celebrities.

Borein was passionate about preserving the American West before it faded away. After settling in Santa Barbara, he made it his mission to document the West — every animal, rider, gear and culture — before it disappeared.

He wanted the West to be viewed as it truly was and from the perspective of one who had lived it and loved it.

In fact, it was Borein — along with J.J. Mitchell, Elmer Awl and Sammy Kramer — who, in 1929, came up with the idea of forming a men’s riding group to build a fellowship of horses and ranch lovers and to commemorate the ranching history of California. That group would eventually be known as the Los Rancheros Visitadores.

Borein was also instrumental in founding the Santa Barbara Fiesta and was great friends with the likes of Will Rogers, Charles Russell, Maynard Dixon and Leo Carrillo.

“Borrowed Borein” opening, appetizer reception and talk will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. June 4. Admission is $10 for museum members and $15 for non-members at the gate.

The Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum is located at 3596 Sagunto St. in Santa Ynez. Hours are Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 4 pm. Tours are available by appointment.

Call the museum at 805.688.7889 or visit www.santaynezmuseum.org for more information.

— Christine Bashforth is the executive director of the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum.

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