Greetings Dear Readers! I begin my Henry Lorentzen Art Commentaries with an opening story from the daughter of Henry Lorentzen and author of two books on his life and times, “Daddy Was An Artist” and “Homestead Memories on the Buffalo Paunch Creek”. I hope you enjoy this very first commentary on the beautiful painting “Indian Burial” and please leave comments! ~Vanessa
From the pen of Yvonne McGuire:
My book “Daddy Was an Artist”, has opened some exciting doors for me to meet or correspond with people who knew my father or own his paintings.
In the epilogue of my book I mention that sometimes Henry Lorentzen paintings are sold at an estate auction and my brother Ross, if he knows about them, tries to buy them back. I tell of a phone call he received several years ago from a lady in Pennsylvania who purchased a Henry Lorentzen painting in an antique store there. Liking the painting very much, she researched his name and hometown, Washburn North Dakota, written on the back of the canvas panel. From that detective work, she was able to call my brother, who still lives on the old home place. This seemed to be the end of the story.
Now recently, to our great amazement, this mystery painting has suddenly reappeared after many years. Curious one day, my cousin, Jonathan Lorentzen in Canada decided to see what he could find on the internet about his Great Uncle Henry. He was surprised to discover that a large oil painting 36” by 27” was for sale on eBay. He notified family members and my sister Estell in Iowa was able to learn more of this unfolding story.
The lady in Pennsylvania who had purchased the painting, there in the antique shop, had given it as a gift to her son and his wife in Los Angeles California. They had enjoyed the painting for several years in their vacation cabin. Circumstances led to the sale of their cabin and art collection so the painting was for sale on eBay.
It seemed so right for me to purchase this painting back. What a dream that it could complete its long journey and return into the loving hands of family. Now hung in my home, my heart is stirred with emotion as I view the beauty of this North Dakota landscape with the setting sun highlighting the Missouri River and distant Blue Buttes.
My father has captured with paint and brush strokes the mystery and enchantment of the sweep of prairie enveloping the viewer with a sense of melancholy (loneliness) and mystery surrounding the Indian burial stand and the distant retreating two figures, perhaps in mourning, as they leave the site.
Somehow I feel this story has not ended yet. Is it possible we will learn how this painting journeyed to Pennsylvania?