E. Martin Hennings first came to Taos in 1917. He was on a one year commission from Chicago Mayor Carter H. Harrison and his art buying partner, meat packing mogul Oscar Mayer. He returned to Chicago the following year with new confidence and perspective. It was not until 1921 that Hennings permanently moved to Taos to continue his career. He became an active member of the Taos Society of Artists in 1924, following in the footsteps of his good friends, fellow Chicago artists Walter Ufer and Victor Higgins.
Hennings studied art in Chicago at the Art Institute and after graduation went to Munich for further study. When Hennings made a painting expedition to the American Southwest, he found capturing the area on canvas a welcome challenge. Figures and trees were his favorite subjects, and he soon became known for painting Native Americans on horseback moving through a forest landscape or across an open field. The work of Hennings can be found in many museum collections, including the Houston Museum of Fine Art, the Los Angeles County Museum, and Tulsa’s Gilcrease Museum.