New Mexico Art Tells its History

Pueblo Pottery

Pueblo Pottery, 1917
Henry C. Balink (American, born in the Netherlands, 1882 - 1963)
oil on canvas, 27 x 33 in. (68.6 x 83.8 cm)
Gift of Herman C. and Bina L. Ilfeld, 1977
2991.23P

Henry Balink was born in Amsterdam where his talent and fondness for the arts was discovered in primary school. At the age of eleven he financed his art training at the Royal Academy of Amsterdam, where he belonged to the top of his class, by working as a bicycle racer and ice skater, and as a stuntman for an American film company. After marrying, he and his wife came to the United States where he first worked in New York, then Chicago, and in 1917 moved to the Southwest, settling in Santa Fe. Their home and studio on Old Pecos Trail is still standing. Balink's work changed from its darker, traditional palette, inspired by the intense colors and light of the Southwest landscape. His vibrant portraits were so successful that jealous members of the Taos Society of Artists tried to have him deported, accusing him of espionage.

 

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