Julian Onderdonk and the Texan Landscape 

January 20–April 23, 2017 



Every Texan knows, there is something special about Texas landscapes. What many may not know is how important Julian Onderdonk (1882–1922) was to Texas art and to the depictions of Texas landscapes.

 “Julian Onderdonk’s work still influences the way visitors revere—and artists paint—the Texas landscape,” said William Keyse Rudolph, PhD. the Marie and Hugh Halff Curator of American Art and Mellon Chief Curator. “It is exciting to share these works—many from private collections—with our visitors.”

The San Antonio native and American impressionist is best known for his signature bluebonnets and of the Texas countryside; however, he spent his formative years training in New York under American artist William Merritt Chase (a fine example of Chase’s work is represented in the Museum’s collection, Mrs. Chase and Child, circa 1889). It is only after returning to Texas in 1909, that Onderdonk portrayed the distinctive surroundings of his state at different times of day and became admired by collectors.

Julian Onderdonk and the Texan Landscape presents a select group of more than 25 Onderdonk’s paintings, from views of the Long Island landscape to sweeping impressions of the iconic Texas bluebonnet, bringing Texas history to light.

The exhibition was organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and coincides with the publication of Julian Onderdonk: A Catalogue Raisonné by Harry A. Halff and Elizabeth Halff, who spent twenty years tracking down the works.

Julian Onderdonk, A Road in Late Afternoon, 1921, oil on canvas, h. 20 in. (50.8 cm); w. 30 in. (76.2 cm), William J. Hill Collection. Image courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.