Oscar Berninghaus, a St. Louis native, was already known for his expert draftsmanship when the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company commissioned him to do the artwork for series of advertising lithographs based on scenes from the settlement of the West. Because of this commission, the artist’s reputation and interest in painting the American West soared. On his very first Western journey, a chance encounter and a broken wagon wheel—so legend has it—led him to Taos. The light and color there, and the ways of life of the indigenous Pueblo Indians filled his senses. Berninghaus would eventually make Taos his home and become one of the founders of the Taos Society of Artists.