John Edward Borein (1872-1945) was the oldest of five children, born into a politically inclined family in San Leandro, then a Western cow town on the main northern California cattle trail not far from Oakland. The constant stream of cattle and 'vaqueros' moving through his hometown had a powerful effect on the young Borein, who began to sketch these men and animals when he was but five years old. Borein's artistic bent was encouraged by his family, and after grade school he briefly enrolled at the San Francisco Art Association School, leaving to become a working cowboy himself. For several years, the artist combined the two occupations, becoming a skilled and prolific sketcher of the Old West and its life. A move to New York in 1907 helped to cement his reputation as an artist.
Like his good friend Charles M. Russell, Borein stands today as one of the most artistically gifted and intellectually honest chroniclers of the American West and a way of life that has now passed almost completely away.
A master at portraying cowboys, Indians and Western life and work, his early work documented the transition from Spanish to American influence in California. He continued to paint Western scenes until the end of his life. The fine sketches, etchings, drawings and watercolors of this self-taught artist come to life in this book.