Edward Borein Friezes

Portrait from Santa Barbara Historical Museum collection.

Edward Borein was one of a handful of early Western artists who was actually born in the West. As a young man, he roamed the western states and territories and much of Mexico, working as a cowboy and using his artistic talent to record these experiences. Developing a deep affection for the West, and nurtured by his free lifestyle as a cowboy, he soon became known as a skilled and spontaneous recorder of cowboy and Indian life.

In his early thirties, Borein decided to pursue a career as a professional artist and moved to New York City, where his studio soon became a favorite haunt for essential figures such as Will Rogers, Charles M. Russell, Carl Oscar Borg and Buffalo Bill Cody.

Borein returned to his native California, married, and set up a permanent studio in Santa Barbara in 1921. His etchings, watercolors, and drawings quickly earned him a reputation as one of the foremost interpreters of the American West. Few artists have done so as accurately and skillfully as Borein.

For more information visit the Santa Barbara Historical Museum’s Edward Borein Gallery


About Edward Borein Friezes

Painted in the Tecolote Ranch Tack Room in 1931 for Silsby Spalding by Edward Borein. Painted on airplane spruce and India ink. Some of the panels are of local nature, with an oxcart in front of the Mission Santa Barbara, vaqueros chasing runaway steers as they round up cattle, a train of covered wagons drawn by teams of oxen and a stagecoach drawn by a team of six horses.

When the Tecolote Ranch was sold in 1959, after Silsby Spalding’s death, the Borein frieze was relocated to the private Museum of Western Americana, originally owned by Signal Oil founder Samuel B Mosher and his neighboring Dos Pueblos Ranch. After Mosher death in 1970, the Borein frieze and much of the other collections went into Bekins storage. There it sat until Leonard Kummer, one of the founders of the Carriage and Western Art Museum convinced Mosher’s widow Margaret (Maggie) Mosher to give it to the Museum in 1978 as a permanent loan. In 2013 The Mosher Foundation gifted the entire collection to the Carriage Museum.