The Paint Shop

The Paint Shop

Henderson “always spoke of his studio as his paint shop,” and  it was here that he spent a good part of his time working steadily. The studio was a substantial building, heated with a Franklin stove so he could work year round.  Like the house it was comfortably furnished with antique chairs, rugs, and family memorabilia such as his father’s Master Mariner certificate. A bookcase, still in the studio today, contains novels, volumes of poetry by Robert Burns, books on art such as Ruskin’s The Stones of Venice and The Two Paths, Carlyle’s Sartor Resartus, and a photographic book, American Indian Life. In the studio were a number of Aboriginal artifacts, including a bone breastplate, beaded leggings, a Dakota headdress and striped and checked blankets, used as studio props for the portraits. Henderson would pose his visitors from nearby Reserves in the studio with these artifacts sometimes on a chair in front of a canvas to judge effects of scale and lighting. Occasionally he would take pictures of them outside of the studio against the landscape.