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Artist Ken Turner is known throughout the world for his unique representations of historical events. Rendered with incredible detail and touching accuracy, his paintings often feature an overlay of the past with the present.

“Cattle baron Robert Stafford built the Stafford Bank and Opera House in Columbus, Texas in the late 1800′s. The well-known architect Nicolas Clayton designed it. His home was next door and the stage could be seen from his second story porch. Those were the days of the open range and many of Stafford’s men were veterans of Hood’s Texas brigade and good with a gun.

The Opera house was restored to its’ original splendor nearly a century later. It now hosts functions, just as in former times.

I was struck by the image made by the late afternoon sun on the side of the building and said to myself, “I’m going to paint that.” While doing my first sketches I felt impressed to add an image from the past to balance out the composition. I was painting on location one day and the painting was nearing completion when local historian Bill Stein stopped to visit. Knowing that Stafford had been shot and killed, I asked where it had happened. He informed me only a few yards from the carriage in the painting and that his widow was wearing a long white dress on that day.”

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