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    Description

    BEN CARLTON MEAD (1902-1986)
    Santa Ynez Mission
    Oil on linen
    36 x 60 inches (91.4 x 152.4 cm)
    Signed lower left

    Ben Carlton Mead was born in Bay City and lived in Amarillo, Lamesa, Plainview, and Tulsa. Mead studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, focusing on illustration and commercial art. In 1932, he moved back to Amarillo to live in his ranch home in Palo Duro Canyon, and teach at Amarillo College. That same year, the Witte Museum commissioned Mead to sketch the Indian pictographs in Edwards County.

    Mead lived and worked in Dallas from 1941 to 1967 as art director for an advertising agency. Besides his advertising career, Mead had a successful career in magazine and book illustration, focusing primarily on southwestern scenes and themes. He worked with J. Frank Dobie on Coronado's Children: Tales of Lost Mines and Buried Treasures of the Southwest, I'll Tell You a Tale, and Cow People. He also worked with Frontier Times and True West magazines.

    Once retired, he was able to focus on his historic research and southwestern painting. In 1981, he settled in Santa Ynez Valley. This painting is his last great historic painting before he died.

    The Santa Ynez Mission was founded in 1804 to serve the peaceful Chumash Indians and serve as a link between the Santa Barbara and La Purisima Concepcion Missions. An 1817 inventory of Mission Santa Ynez listed 6,000 head of cattle, 5,000 sheep, 120 goats, 150 pigs, 120 pack mules, and 770 horses. In that year, the mission baptismal book recorded 1,030 names, most of which were Indian. Also recorded were 287 marriages and 611 deaths. The mission registered its greatest Indian population that same year with a total of 920 Native Americans.

    Having experienced many changes since its founding, often times tumultuous ones, Mission Santa Ynez remains rich in tradition, legend, and history. The mission, which commands a superb view of the Santa Ynez River Valley and the Santa Ynez and San Raphael mountain ranges, continues its central role in the social and spiritual life of the community. The mission is an active parish church of approximately 1,000 families and is administered by the Franciscan order.


    Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000.

    Condition Report*: Excellent condition. Period frame in excellent condition.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Dates
    December, 2007
    1st Saturday
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