I recently purchased an Ernest G. Untermann Sr. oil painting. In the last few years of life, Untermann joined his son and daughter-in-law at the Natural History Museum in Vernal, Utah. At the time, Ernest was in his 90’s. During his time in Vernal, he was a prolific artist, painting beautiful landscapes and dramatic scenes of dinosaurs. I recently purchased an Untermann belonging to a family from the Denver area.
The landscape, dated 1952, is of an unknown section of the Green River. According to the vendor (Jeff Bean):
Ernest was a friend of my great grandfather, Harry Ratcliff, who homesteaded on the Green River near Vernal. Harry was an engineer and explorer, responsible for running rivers looking for suitable dam sites. He was also a geologist and mineralogist. This is how his path crossed with Ernest. The story was told that Untermann gave two paintings to my great grandparents as a gift, or payment of some sort. My aunt is still living and has the other painting. I will see if she knows more about how they came into our possession.
Ernest lived an interesting life as seaman, geologist, translator, socialist, and finally dinosaur illustrator. His paintings are prominently displayed at the new Natural History Museum in Vernal.