Fernand Harvey Lungren, (1857-1932), Covered Wagon Train crossing Hopi Country, Monument Valley, Circa early 1900’s, (Most likely done for the Santa Fe Railway commission he acquired, sketching along the route)

2014-06-07 13.35.04

Covered Wagon Train crossing Hopi Country, Monument Valley, Circa early 1900’s, (Most likely done for the Santa Fe Railway commission)
Fernand Harvey Lungren, (1857-1932)
Gouache on Paper
13.5″ x 21″

 Signed and titled lower right, “Ca-Ca-Ti-a-Ca and as well noted inscription on verso

Fernand Harvey Lungren was a painter and illustrator who was born on November 13, 1859 in Hagerstown, Maryland.  Lungren grew up in Toledo, Ohio and showed artistic promise at the age of seven.  When he was nineteen he met artist Kenyon Cox who encouraged him to pursue art as a career.  After studying briefly in Cincinnati, he moved to Philadelphia where he enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, to study under Thomas Eakins.

He began his career in New York City, as an illustrator for Scribner’s Magazine, and later contributed illustrations for several other magazines such as Harper’s, St. Nicholas and Century.  His subject matter in New York was mostly night effects on city street scenes.  He furthered his art training in Paris at Acadèmie Julian for two years, and then returned to Cincinnati, which was an active art center.  

Local artists J.H. Sharp and Henry Farny, whom Lungren had met, had already adopted western and Indian subjects for their artwork, and through their example, Lungren decided to do likewise.  Opportunity came when the Santa Fe Railway hired him to sketch scenes along its route.  In 1893, he went west and spent eight months in Santa Fe visiting the Indian pueblos and the next year spent several months with the Hopis in Arizona.  He eventually was made a member of several Indian tribes and priest-hoods.

His most famous illustration, Thirst, which depicted a dying man and a dead horse, was published in 1896 in Harper’s Weekly and caused quite a sensation across the United States.  The subjects of his work from 1892 until his death forty years later were almost exclusively Indian ceremonies and folklore of the Moquis, Hopi, Navajo and Apache, the Southwestern desert and Sierra landscapes.  In 1900 a series of his paintings was reproduced and widely sold.

About 1905, Lungren moved to Los Angeles, and in 1907 he settled permanently in Santa Barbara.  He helped found the Santa Barbara School of Art and was active with that school until his death there on November 9, 1932.  Upon his death many of his paintings and Indian artifacts were willed to the Santa Barbara State College.  His illustrations in his California period were black and white.  Lungren distinguished between these illustrations left with the publishers and his “artwork” he sold to friends.

His works have been included in many art exhibitions and galleries including the American Watercolor Society in New York, Kennedy Galleries in New York, Montana Historical Society in Helena and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia.  The publications in which his artwork is included are numerous.  His artwork is held in the collections of Earl C. Adams, Santa Barbara State College, The Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; and the Stenzel collection, to name a few.


Dykes, Jeff.  Fifty Great Western Illustrators:  A Bibliographic Checklist.  U.S.: Northland Press.  1975.

Falk, Peter Hastings.  Who Was Who in American Art.  Connecticut: Sound View Press.  1985.  

Hughes, Edan Milton.  Artists in California:  1786-1940.  San Francisco: Hughes Publishing Company.  1986.

Lungren, Fernand Harvey.  Fernand Lungren: A Biography. ____________.

Samuels, Peggy and Harold.  Samuels’ Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West.  New Jersey: Castle.  1985.