This gem of a painting was completed in 1965, following a trip my father took to Southern Mexico and Guatemala. In many ways it is quintessential Hulings, except for the ox pulling the cart. Typically, of course, we would see a donkey doing that work in a Hulings painting. Also typical, though, is that my father captured the everyday reality of life in this painting — oxen are very common in this part of Central America.
This small country is home to 23 different ethnic groups, Caribbean and Pacific beaches, Central America’s two tallest peaks, and 37 volcanoes. Three of the volcanoes are active, and a few others are not quite dormant. Click here to read more. Guatemala’s volcanoes are part of the Ring of Fire that surrounds the Pacific Rim. The country is so rich in volcanoes that it’s hard to avoid them — even when one has climbed onto one volcano, another is usually within sight.
Guatemala is also a land of bright colors and big contrasts, and its remarkable beauty belies a long and difficult past. My father, true to form, depicted this man, his ox and his cart in the shadow of Volcán de Agua, which rises 11,500 feet above the Pacific Ocean, only a few kilometers from the historic colonial city of Antigua. Two hardworking beings in a land of large events that inevitably effect them.
The Bullock Cart hangs today in the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, Georgia. About an hour outside of Atlanta, The Booth is a 120,000 square foot behemoth — the largest of its kind. It contains a staggering amount of top notch art from all over the Southwestern United States. Collections range from American West historical, to Civil War, to Western Contemporary, and of course, a sweet little painting of a Guatemalan worker with his ox and cart. It is well worth a visit.