George Caleb Bingham, the 19 century Missouri painter known for his work of American life in the frontier, has recently had the existence of 10 supposed paintings revealed. Bingham, whose 200 birthday is currently being celebrated throughout the art world, is currently the subject of controversy because the previously mentioned paintings are unsigned. Fred R. Kline, a Santa Fe art dealer and researcher, has attributed the unsigned paintings to Bingham, but some art historians are questioning Kline’s findings.
While Kline said his authentication is based on his 30 years as a generalist art historian with various studies of Bingham works, the art community remains skeptical. Bingham, who was the president of the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners in 1874, is considered one of the greatest American painters of the 19 century. Whether or not these 10 paintings are true Bingham works remains in question, but it will be interesting to see how this situation pans out.