William Penhallow HENDERSON US, 1877-1943


"If the work of an artist is basically true, it is beautiful to the end...."


- William Penhallow Henderson

Om 1916. after more than a decade teaching and painting in Chicago, Henderson moved to Santa Fe with his wife, the poet and editor Alice Corbin. There his interest in the Indian and Hispanic residents of the Southwest inspired work in several media. Best known are his pastels and oils, less so his murals, handcrafted furniture, stage designs, and innovative architectural projects. As an ilustrator, he was noted for his work on novels and scholarly studies focusing on the Southwest, including his wife's classic, Brothers of Light: The Penitentes of the Southwest.


Henderson's emotive, high-keyed color and decorative spatial treatment suggest Post-Impressionism applied to distinctly southwestern imagery. His work was an inspiration to avant-garde as well as conservative painters in the Southwest.

- Courtesy of the Smithsonian