Tuesday, May 20, 2008


County Election located in the St. Louis Museum of Art, just 4 1/2 hours west of Louisville

Today is election day in Kentucky. To honor this great American process, I thought it would be appropriate to briefly discuss a great American artist who focused on painting American elections.

George Caleb Bingham (1811-1879) was born in Virginia but was raised in Missouri. Bingham is considered one of the first great artists of the west and the first artist of Misssouri. In 1847 the artist began his "Election" series of paintings which depicted America's deomocratic process. It also portrayed politics as they were in the American west at that time. Because these paintings were so sucessful, Bingham decided to commission a series of engravings based on his paintings. Produced in large quantities the engravings furthered the artist's reputation. The most striking aspect of Bingham's pieces is his ability to depict people of every age and social class with varying expressions and poses. Below are a few of the most recent auction results for some of his engravings in the "Election" series.

County Election
Handcolored engraving
26.2" X 32.6"
Christies New York: Jan 29, 2006
Important American furniture, Folk Art, Silver & Prints
Estimate: $2000-$3000
Sold: $4200
Stump Speaking
Hand colored engraving and Mezzotint
20.2" X 30.1"
Freemans: Thursday, Jan 25, 2007, lot 564
Fine Books, Manuscripts, & Prints
Estimate: $2500-$3500
Sold: $3854

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