Drilling for oil, also referred to as “Black Gold” or “Texas Tea”, and oilfield artwork have been around for the last century and a half in this country, particularly in Texas. From the earliest towns that sprang up to support the areas that were mining for oil to the rich landscapes, there are paintings that offer a glimpse into these times.
Petroleum history is documented through oilfield artwork. It shows the rise of the railroads being used to transport the barrels of petroleum to the use of tanker trucks once the automotive industry began to get involved. It depicts the very first types of drilling equipment up to the very modern rigs that are built out on the ocean to explore the depths of the sea in search of the black gold.
There is an elegance to be found in oilfield artwork. Not only does it show an entire culture of people that work these wells and drilling sites, but it also depicts the vastness of the open plains of Texas and the majesty of these large wells against the stark and barren backdrop of the Texas landscape.
Museums as well as private owners proudly display oilfield artwork in Texas as a sign of the times and a tribute to the very thing that made Texas one of the richest states in the union. Many artists have dedicated their life to bringing these huge rigs to the walls of offices and homes all over the country. These paintings continue to draw a large audience wherever they are displayed.