Ernest Martin Hennings USA

2-5-1886 Penns Grove, USA - 5-19-1956 Taos, USA

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Hennings, Ernest Martin

It was in 1901 that Ernest Martin Hennings began taking classes at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, which was largely based on the great European art schools and made particularly emphasis on the importance of drawing. On June 17, 1904, he graduated from the school with honors, but continued to study there for another two years, mostly under the instruction of John Vanderpoel.

Hennings eventually took up work as a commercial artist, mostly painting murals and portraits around Chicago. Murals on which Hennings worked, usually on canvas panels, include one for the the Art Institute of Chicago, the Florentine Ballroom at the Congress Plaza Hotel in Chicago.

Out of a desire to return to fine art painting, he re-enrolled at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and soon entered, in 1912, a painting in a competition at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, for which he won second prize. He soon enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich in Germany, under the direction of Angelo Junk, Walter Thor, and Franz von Stuck, who was particularly influential on the painter. Before World War I escalated, Ernest Martin Hennings relocated back to his hometown of Chicago.

Ernest Martin Hennings soon attracted the attention of a number Chicago businessmen and art patrons, including Carter H. Harrison, Jr. Harrison offered to sponsor a trip for Hennings to visit and paint in Taos, New Mexico, in exchange for the works he completed during his stay.

Hennings accepted the patrons proposition and spent the summer and fall of 1917 in and around Taos. Although Hennings soon traveled back to Chicago to continue his work as a commercial artist, three years later he moved permanently to Taos.

During one trip back to Illinois, in 1924, Hennings met Helen Otte, an employee at the Chicago department store Marshall Field. The two were married just two years later and travelled extensively through Europe for 16 months their honeymoon, visiting Italy, France, Spain, and Morocco.

Movement: American Western Art
Influences: John Vanderpoel, Angelo Junk, Walter Thor, Franz von Stuck
Traveled: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Morocco
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