Painted Bones

Charles Donelan’s article “The Cowboy and the Cubist” is a document unto itself, with its in-depth story of Channing Peake and his association with Picasso. Considered one of the foremost of Western artists, Peake as well was a friend or an associate of such artists as Edward Borein and Howard Warshaw.

The Art, Design and Architecture Museum of UCSB has indeed placed a most important exhibit on display relating the Peake/Picasso connection. Anyone involved in the arts, either as an advocate, educator, or student, as well as the public in general should not miss this show.

It may seem superfluous, but perhaps mention should be made of the Quizote Mural in the lobby of the Santa Barbara Public Library as an addendum to the above article, a work of Peake and Warshaw. First placed in 1959, it was miraculously saved from off a wall with minor damage for replacement to its present location during the library’s remodeling in 1978.

It was my great privilege to have known Peake ever so briefly when I was a Santa Barbara County Arts Commissioner in the 1980s, having met with him as a fellow committee member at his Ballard home, where painted bones where scattered about. Sadly, it was not long after those meetings that I stood by his gravesite, where representatives of the Diego Rivera family brought greetings of condolences. The Peake legacy, one of great artistic distinction, will always be present.

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