Elbridge Ayer Burbank (1858-1949)

lived his life as most of us do - fraught with problems (relationship, monetary, mental health, etc.) and dreams. He wanted to create portraits for each and every Indian tribe in the U.S. - and came closer than any other person - over one hundred-twenty-five tribes, around 1,500 portraits.

He could have easily slipped into oblivion, except for the few who either recognized the importance of his works, or just helped him from the kindness of their hearts. His millionaire uncle, Edward Ayer, could have done so much more - but was intently devoted to his own work with the Field Museum, The Newberry Library, and with Native Americans in his own right. John Lorenzo Hubbell provided a place of security and comfort for many years and was an important anchor in Burbank's life. Joseph Butler was so impressed he purchased an entire exhibit one year and went on to become a major collector of Burbank's works - now the Butler Museum of American Art. Fred Darvill, of Darvill's Rare Prints, and the editors of The Pony Express News provided support for Burbank in his later years in San Francisco.

The June 2004 auction of "Chief Stinking Bear" by John Moran Auctioneers in CA for $15,400 set a new public auction record for Burbank art on ASkArt.com. Perhaps the world is beginning to pay attention the significance of the works of E. A. Burbank.

If you are interested in supporting this exhibit - or donating Burbank art - please contact the Harvard-Diggins Library.

Thank You - we hope you enjoy the exhibit.

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