Balink, Henry C.
American (born in Holland), 1882-1963
Oil on canvas
14 x 12 1/8 inches
Wichita Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Florence E. Hutton in memory of Ada M. Leapley, beloved teacher of Earl R. Hutton
Not Currently on Display
About the Artwork
Balink was born in Amsterdam, Holland. Awarded a scholarship, he studied at the Royal Academy from 1909 to 1914. In 1914 he married and took his bride with him to New York City where he had an assignment from the Berlin Archaeological Museum and the Louvre, Paris, to do some copy work in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He stayed in the United States, moving to Chicago, where he became a successful portrait painter.
According to legend, a scenic travel poster in a railway station first lured Balink and his wife to Taos, New Mexico. He was excited by the western atmosphere of Taos, by both the landscape and the Indian peoples. After a last visit to Europe in 1922 he settled permanently in Santa Fe. By 1924 he was exhibiting Indian portraits and in 1927 he received the commission to paint portraits of Oklahoma Indian chiefs for the Marland Museum to be built in Ponca City.