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According to Gordon E. Sanders, “What was it that made Oscar Berninghaus such a fine American painter? Some say it was because of his incredible draftsmanship—the ability to draw. Others allude to his special handling of color, mass and form, and an eye for subject material. Perhaps all these comments are valid, and certainly these components are the essentials of any first-rate painter. However, the dominant factor in the success of Berninghaus appears to be courage—the courage to stick to what he believed, and continue looking neither to the right nor to the left.”

In a 1951 letter Berninghaus wrote, “I belong to the vintage of yesterday and having faith in it, I still paint that way. At the same time I respect the present-day movement, the modern, providing it is basically sound and good. I believe the powers that be have endowed each and every one of us with certain talents, ambitions and skills, some with more, some with less. And it is our obligation to do the best we can with the allotment assigned to us. I have tried to do the best I could with mine.”

PROVENANCE:
The Estate of Don Bennett, Agoura, California

LITERATURE:
Gordon E. Sanders, Oscar E. Berninghaus Master Painter of American Indians and the Frontier West (Taos, New Mexico: Taos Heritage Publishing Company, 1985), page 124, listed

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