Ernest Martin Hennings was born in 1886 at Penns Grove, New Jersey, and died at Taos,
New Mexico in 1956. He was a painter and a printmaker. After graduating from high school,
Hennings left New Jersey for five years of study at the Art Institute of Chicago. His
training continued with two years at the Royal Academy in Munich. Fellow art students in
Munich included Walter Ufer and Victor Higgins. In 1914, at the outbreak of World War I,
Hennings returned to Chicago, where he made his living as a muralist and commercial artist.
At the urging of former Chicago mayor Carter Harrison, Hennings spent a few months in Taos in
1917. Four years later, he made Taos his permanent home, joining the Taos Society of Artists
in 1924. Hennings's favorite subject was the Native American, whom he often posed singly or
in groups against a bright foliage curtain. His compositions, featuring stylized lines,
decorative patterns, and warm colors, won him twelve national prizes between 1916 and 1938.