LOT 295

Henry Balink


Portrait of Chief Bacon Rind

MEDIUM: Oil on canvas

DIMENSIONS: 46 1/2 x 32 inches

Signed lower right


SOLD FOR: $26,325.00

Including Buyers Premium

Additional Information

Private collection, Santa Fe, NM, ca. 1965
Private collection, Littleton, CO, 2018

This exceptional portrait by Taos painter Henry C. Balink likely originated around 1927, when the artist was documenting Native Americans. Although not mentioned by name, the painting is noted in an article in the August 1927 edition of The Art Digest. “Henry C. Balink, member of the Taos colony of artists, native of Amsterdam and modern follower of the [Hans] Holbein tradition, is painting a series of portraits of the most prominent Indians of Oklahoma for the museum to be established at Ponca City, [Oklahoma,] by E.W. Marland, oil magnate,” the article reads. “Thus far he has painted Blue Hair, Atoe chief; Bacon Rind, Osage chief; and Horse Chief Eagle, of the Poncas.” At least one of the Balink portraits, Chief Blue Hair, is in the Smithsonian’s collection at the National Portrait Gallery.

As for Balink’s sitter, Chief Bacon Rind is thought to be one of the most photographed American Indian leaders of his era. The Osage chief, known as Wah-she-hah (Star-That-Travels), came to Oklahoma during the removal of the Osage people from Kansas in the 1870s. “Bacon Rind was politically progressive and favored the allotment of the Osage Reservation and the development of its oil and natural gas resources,” notes the Oklahoma Historical Society. “He remained a traditionalist in customs, however, and always wore native dress and an otter-skin cap. Bacon Rind was a gifted speaker of the Osage language. He spent the last quarter century of his life representing the Osage on annual visits to Washington, D.C.”


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Please note that the first unframed photo is most accurate for color. Framed photographs are to show the frame and are not color corrected to the painting.

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