Update: this painting sold at Coeur d’Alene to a Hulings collector who’d had his eye out for a Hulings Canyon scene for years. Congratulations!
“This is the Southern Kaibab Trail. There is a Northern one as well. They connect, and it is possible to hike the canyon from rim to rim without veering from the Kaibab.”
This is a rare example of a commissioned Hulings work. Jack Parker fell so hard for the Grand Canyon painting my father did for the government in 1967 that he begged and begged to have something similar. My father hated to accept commissions because, as a former portrait painter, they stressed him out! What if the commissioner didn’t like the finished piece? Of course, when the subject is someone’s face, that is a big problem, because no one else will want their likeness. However, with a subject like the Grand Canyon, there is little to worry about—EVERYONE wants a Hulings canyon painting. The Grand Canyon is quintessential subject matter for Clark Hulings. After all, he won the first Prix de West prize at NAWA with Kaibab Trail – Winter.
Mr. Parker pursued my father for three years, at the end of which my father finally acquiesced and this fantastic painting is the result.
This is the Southern Kaibab Trail. There is a Northern one as well. They connect, and it is possible to hike the canyon from rim to rim without veering from the Kaibab. It is also possible to visit the Kaibab National Forest, which abuts the canyon. Of course, the irony is that the Havasupai were the creators of the trails, and the inhabitants of the plateau and canyon, not the Kaibab, who are actually members of the Paiute Nation of Utah. Their reservation lies about 50 miles from the canyon.
For centuries, the Havasupai spent winters in the warm canyon bed and summers growing crops at the top. They, with help from the Hualapai, Navajo and Hopi, carved the walking paths up and down and around the canyon. An ever greater, and horrible irony, is that they were almost starved to death when the US government relegated them to a small reservation at the bottom of the canyon, and prevented them from growing food on the plateau. Finally, in 1979, they regained their land after a hard-won fight of decades and many different tribes’ involvement.
Following in Ancient Footsteps
My seventh grade class hiked into the canyon on this trail, and spent several days camping on the remarkably beautiful Havasupai land at the bottom. Everyone planning a hike or a walk at the Grand Canyon should know in whose footsteps they follow, and have gratitude and humility for them.
A Once in 48-Year Chance
Mark July 28th, 2018 in your calendar: that’s the day when the Coeur d’Alene Art Auction will be selling Grand Canyon in Reno, Nevada. If you’ve had an eye out for a Hulings canyon painting and would like an introduction to our colleagues at the auction, just send us a note and we will put you in touch.
At a more accessible price range, we also have a signed archival print of Kaibab Trail – Winter available.