J.L. Hubbell
E.A. Burbank





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E.A. Burbank
E.A. Burbank Photo
E.A. Burbank Photo
E.A. Burbank
"...the rest of my life will be devoted among the Indians and I have a life's work ahead of me"
E. A. Burbank, 1897.
Elbridge Ayer Burbank was born in Harvard, Illinois in 1858. A student at the Art Institute of Chicago he later had a studio in St. Paul, Minnesota and studied in Munich, Germany. Burbank became a successful painter in Chicago where he won the prestigious Charles T. Yerkes art prize. His uncle, Edward Ayer, president of Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History, commissioned Burbank to paint Geronimo in 1897. The artist traveled west to fill this commission. The trip profoundly changed his life. Burbank would spend the rest of his life in the West.
Canyon Painting
Canyon De Chelly
Going To School
Going To School
In 1897 Burbank met Juan Lorenzo Hubbell [called the Old Mexican by the Navajos] at his trading post in Ganado, Arizona. He enjoyed Hubbell's hospitality for months at a time over a period of many years. Burbank, called Dangling Eye or A- man-who-puts-you-on-a-piece-of-paper by the Navajos, said, "Whenever I am away from Ganado, I always feel I am away from home. I am happiest there than any place I have yet been to."

Burbank was troubled with manic depression most of his adult life. In 1917, he moved to San Francisco and was an outpatient at Napa State Hospital until 1934. Burbank continued to provide illustrations to the San Francisco Chronicle, and sent sketches and prints to famous personalities. His richly illustrated autobiography, Burbank Among the Indian as told to Ernest Royce was published in 1944. He was killed in a cable car accident in 1949.
The Poker Game
Poker Game
Trading Post
Historic Photographs
Conté Crayons
These crayons or drawing tools are named after their inventor, Nicolas-Jacques Conté. Conté also invented the modern pencil. The crayons were originally a mixture of graphite and clay formed into hard drawing sticks.
Today, Conté crayons are made with an alumina chalk [aluminum oxide] base. White crayons are pure alumina chalk; blacks and grays are carbon and alumina chalk. Reddish-browns or sanguines are made form ferric oxide [rust] and alumina chalk. Conté crayons have the consistency of graphite sticks, and the appearance of hard pastels.
Paint Kit Sketch Pad
Burbank's Art Supplies
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