Louis Akin (1868-1913)

El Tovar Scene, 1906
Chromolithograph, 8 in x 17 in
Louis Akin's overwhelming love of the outdoors can be traced to his youth in Oregon. At the age of twenty-eight, Akin left his home state to study at the New York Art School. In 1903 he happily accepted an offer from the Santa Fe Railway to return west and paint the Hopi people. Thanks to his gentle, undemanding manner and his effort to learn the Hopi language, Akin was permitted to live in the village of Oraibi and eventually was adopted by a Hopi clan. In 1906 he received a commission from the Santa Fe Railway to paint the newly completed El Tovar Hotel at Grand Canyon. That image became something of a trademark for the Santa Fe Railway. Akin was commissioned by the American Museum of Natural History in New York to paint murals for a large hall on Indians of the Southwest. Using Flagstaff as his home base, he traveled to the Hopi mesas and throughout the Southwest, making sketches for the planned mural. Sadly, Akin died of pneumonia before he could complete this work. His largest landscape painting, Evening - Grand Canyon, may be seen in Verkamps gift shop in Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim.

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Presented by the
Grand Canyon Association, 2000

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