James Hendersson

Canadian [1871-1951]

James Henderson is a pioneering figure in the history of art in Saskatchewan, known for his dignified Indigenous portraits and charming renderings of the Saskatchewan landscape, notably of the Qu’Appelle Valley. He was one of the first professionally trained artists to settle in Saskatchewan and the first to make a living as an artist, receiving national and international recognition. Born in Glasgow, Scotland, the son of a sea captain, Henderson enjoyed drawing and sketching from a young age. He began a six-year apprenticeship in lithography at the age of 16. During this time, he additionally trained at the Glasgow School of Art taking evening classes. Henderson initially worked as a commercial artist in London (as an engraver and lithographer), before immigrating to Canada in 1909. He worked briefly in lithography in Winnipeg before moving to Regina in 1910, and then settling in Fort Qu’Appelle in 1916.

Henderson achieved early recognition for his portrait work. In 1924, Henderson is known to have exhibited a portrait titled “Sioux Indian” at the British Empire Exhibition (Wembley, London), followed by “Weasel Calf, Blackfoot Chief” the next year. In 1925, Henderson exhibited three portraits (along with several landscapes) in the exhibition “Artists of Saskatchewan”, at the University of Toronto’s Hart House. Following this success, he was commissioned by the University of Saskatchewan to paint twelve portraits representing the tribes of Saskatchewan and Alberta. The artist’s portraits have become a historically important body of work, depicting and documenting the Cree, Sioux, Saulteaux, and Assiniboine peoples of the Prairie, and including illustrious figures such as Sitting Bull, Chief Crowfoot and Standing Buffalo.

James Henderson is perhaps most fondly remembered for his masterful landscapes. During his early years in Saskatchewan, the artist made several trips to the Qu’Appelle Valley, and was so drawn to the picturesque landscape that he made his home there, settling in a little cottage surrounded by acres of land that provided ample inspiration. He later constructed a studio. The Valley was a favoured and beloved subject matter. Henderson intimately renders his scenes, influenced by the traditions of his early impressionistic training, capturing the mood of different seasons and times of day. Henderson also painted landscapes in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario’s Muskoka Lakes region during trips through Western Canada and Ontario.

While James Henderson’s work was primarily exhibited in Regina and Saskatoon, his paintings was also exhibited at the National Gallery and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts numerous times throughout the 1920s and 1930s, as well as in Alberta, Manitoba and the United Kingdom. His work is currently represented in in many public collections, including the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa); Mendel Art Gallery (Saskatoon); McKenzie Art Gallery (Regina); University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon); Art Gallery of Alberta (Edmonton); Glenbow Museum (Calgary); and Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. James Henderson was a member of the Ontario Society of Artists and exhibited with the Royal Canadian Academy. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 1951, the year of his death. In 2009, Mendel Art Gallery honoured the artist with a retrospective, and the first major exhibition of his work in 40 years. Perhaps one of Henderson’s greatest recognitions was being made Honorary Chief by Fort Qu’Appelle’s Standing Buffalo Reserve, and given the name: Wicite Owapi Wicasa, or “the man who paints the old men.”

A Few Notable Results from Hodgins Art Auctions

James Hendersson

SIOUX WARROR
oil on board
24 x 17.75 in.

Sold for $ 8,500 (hammer price) – June 2020

James Hendersson

QU’APPELLE VALLEY
oil on canvas
18 x 24 in.

Sold for $ 8,500 (hammer price) – May 2012

James Hendersson

THE MARSH; circa 1918
oil on canvas
24 x 30 in.

Sold for $ 8,000 (hammer price) – November 2013

James Hendersson

HILLSIDE WITH TREES, QU’APPELLE WINTER
oil on canvas
16 x 20 in.

Sold for $ 6,000 (hammer price) – May 2012

James Hendersson

Canadian [1871-1951] QU’APPELLE VALLEY SUNSET; ca 1918
oil on canvas
24.25 x 32.25 in.

Sold for $ 5,000 (hammer price) – May 2016

James Hendersson

CATTLE RESTING BENEATH THE TREES
oil on canvas
12 x 14 in.

Sold for $ 4,700 (hammer price) – May 2014

We are always seeking works by James Hendersson to be included in future auctions.

If you are interested in selling with us, or wish to get our opinion of the value of your artworks, please contact us for an appointment to evaluate your artwork for auction.

Alternately, you can easily submit details of your artworks through our Request of Auction Estimates form.

More Extensive Results from our Previous Auctions

3,000.00
Price Realized: $

Artist: James Henderson

Dimensions: 8.5 x 9.5 in. (21.6 x 24.1 cm)

Notes:

signed & titled verso
Provenance: Estate of Ken Croft (Calgary AB), with proceeds generously donated to The University of Calgary, Haskayne School of Business.

1,200.00
Estimate:
1,800.00
 - 

LOT: 104

Auction: 2023 December | Hodgins Art Auctions

4,600.00
Price Realized: $

Artist: James Henderson

Title: THE RIVER, FORT QU'APPELLE SASK

Medium: oil on canvas

Dimensions: 12 x 14 in.

Notes:

signed & titled

3,500.00
Estimate:
4,500.00
 - 

LOT: 15

Auction: 2007 November | Hodgins Art Auctions

3,910.00
Price Realized: $

Artist: James Henderson

Title: WINTER, QU'APPELLE VALLEY SASK

Medium: oil on canvas

Dimensions: 12 x 14 in.

Notes:

signed & titled

3,500.00
Estimate:
4,500.00
 - 

LOT: 265

Auction: 2007 November | Hodgins Art Auctions

5,405.00
Price Realized: $

Artist: James Henderson

Title: UNTITLED (SUNSET, QU'APPELLE VALLEY)

Medium: oil on canvas

Dimensions: 12 x 16 in.

Notes:

signed

3,500.00
Estimate:
4,500.00
 - 

LOT: 296

Auction: 2007 November | Hodgins Art Auctions

2,185.00
Price Realized: $

Artist: James Henderson

Title: EVENING LIGHTS

Medium: oil on panel

Dimensions: 8.75 x 12 in. (22.2 x 30.5 cm)

Notes:

signed & titled

2,500.00
Estimate:
3,000.00
 - 

LOT: 113

Auction: 2008 November | Hodgins Art Auctions

2,300.00
Price Realized: $

Artist: James Henderson

Title: EVENING, LONG LAKE, SASKATCHEWAN BEACH

Medium: oil on canvas laid on board

Dimensions: 9 x 10.75 in. (22.9 x 27.3 cm)

Notes:

signed & titled

2,500.00
Estimate:
3,000.00
 - 

LOT: 114

Auction: 2008 November | Hodgins Art Auctions

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Since 1983, Hodgins Art Auctions is your trusted source for buying and selling art by James Hendersson and other important Canadian artists.

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