🏅 2017 citation from the Publications Awards Committee of the San Antonio Conservation Society
Famed for his bluebonnet landscapes, San Antonio native Julian Onderdonk may be the most well-known artist Texas has ever produced. Onderdonk spent several years outside the state, though, seeking to make a name for himself in New York City. He spent much of his time in New York as the very definition of a starving artist.
In Julian Onderdonk: The Lost Years, the Lost Paintings, James Graham Baker explores the artist’s New York years, so often neglected by previous scholars. Through painstaking research, Baker reveals that Onderdonk painted hundreds of images under pseudonyms during his time in New York. These images not only reveal the means by which the artist struggled to make ends meet, but add another dimension to our understanding of the artist’s oeuvre.
It is not possible to appreciate and understand Julian Onderdonk and his art without including these works. Largely composed of landscapes and marine scenes depicting the vanishing rural areas and shorelines around New York City, they show that Onderdonk was more than simply a “bluebonnet painter.”