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INSIDE Scottsdale Auctions Painting the Old West State of the Art: Texas

APRIL 2014




Robert Henri (1865-1929), Macedonia, 1917, oil on canvas, 32 x 36. Ray and Kay Harvey Collection.

t wasnt a picnic getting to Santa Fe in the early years of the 20th century. But once hereinspired by the light, the landscape, and the Native American culture of the nearby pueblosartists flocked here intent upon interpreting this different culture and establishing an art that was uniquely American. They became part of the community and established a lively Bohemian lifestyleand they painted. John French Sloan (1871-1951) first visited in 1919. The following year he bought a house and returned here in the summer for 30 years. He wrote to Robert Henri toward

the end of his first summer, I have thirteen canvases under way, all memory things. I have done nothing outdoors, contrary to my usual custom in GloucesterI see things, the life of Santa Fe, or landscape, and make them afterword from memory and I think it is producing results. That summer he completed 24 paintings. Life in Santa Fe took off for Sloan and his wife, Dolly, and he later wrote, One trouble with Santa Fe was that there was too much social life. His painting Picnic on the Ridge (1920) celebrates the frivolity as does a painting of playing cards on the door of his studio. It was the same year, however, that he helped arrange a selection of contemporary Indian paintings to be shown in the Society of Independent Artists exhibition in New Yorkalong with his picnic painting. Southwestern Allure: The Art of the Santa Fe Art Colony is an exhibition curated by Dr. Valerie Ann Leeds and organized by the Boca



William Penhallow Henderson (1877-1943), End of the Santa Fe Trail, 1916, oil on canvas, 40 x 32. Ray and Kay Harvey Collection.

Raymond Jonson (1891-1982), Santa Fe Placita, 1925, oil on canvas, 20 x 24. Collection of Gerald and Kathleen Peters, Santa Fe, New Mexico.



Museum of Art, Boca Raton, Florida. It is at The Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando, Florida, through April 6. The exhibition will be at the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe from April 25 through July 27. Frank Holt, executive director of the Mennello Museum, writes, Its a good historical introduction to the visual arts in Santa Fe in the first part of the 20th century. Whats interesting to note is how artists such

as Robert Henri brought their own style of painting to this landscape. Henri (1865-1929) first came to Santa Fe in 1916, staying for several months. During that time he completed 105 paintings. Given studio space in the Palace of the Governors, which housed the Museum of New Mexico, Henri became close to the museums director, Edgar Lee Hewett, and was instrumental in establishing an Open Door policy for

local artists at the museum, a tradition that continued until 1951 when juried exhibitions were introduced. His portrait of a native subject, Macedonia, was painted that first year in Santa Fe. His palette lightened here and Sloan commented, His interest was for emotional work, and this intellectual movement meant nothing to him. His technical means were used powerfully with an emotional driveHenri belonged to the


Will Shuster (1893-1969), Corn Dance, 1920, oil on canvas, 26 x 373/8. Collection of Gerald and Kathleen Peters, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

John French Sloan (1871-1951), Picnic on the Ridge, 1920, oil on canvas, 26 x 35. Private collection, Los Angeles, California.

Jozef G. Bakos (1891-1977), Rancho de Vallicitos, 1920, oil on board, 18 x 23. Private collection, courtesy Addison Rowe Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico.


B. J. O.Nordfeldt (1878-1955), Santa Fe Street Scene, 1926, oil on canvas, 29 x 36. Addison Rowe Fine Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico/private collection, Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Marsden Hartley (1878-1943), Arroyo Hondo, 1918, pastel on paper, 18 x 28. Collection of Gerald and Kathleen Peters, Santa Fe, New Mexico.


quick brushwork school. Painting in Santa Fe during the years 1915 to 1940 was not homogeneous. The exhibition also features work by earlier painters in the Santa Fe Old Guard such as Carlos Vierra, Gerald Cassidy, and Warren Rollins. Henri, Edward Hopper, Leon Kroll, and John Sloan, represented realism, and modernism came into the scene with Stuart Davis, Andrew Dasburg, and Marsden Hartley, among others. Yet, all captured something of the natural and societal nature of the place. B. J. O. Nordfeldt (1878-1955) painted Santa Fe Street Scene in 1926 after he moved to the region from Chicago. Nordfeldt had a great influence on Raymond Jonson (18911982) who painted Santa Fe Placita in 1925. It is interesting to see both paintings in the exhibition, as the two painters began to adopt more of the precepts of modernism. Jonson would eventually found the Transcendental Painting Group with Emil Bisttram in 1938. The groups purpose was to promote abstract art and to carry painting beyond the appearance of the physical world, through new expressions of space, color, light and design. Marsden Hartley (1878-1943) completed his pastel Arroyo Hondo in 1918. He is known more for his paintings of his native Maine, but he declared as he traveled across the country, I am an American discovering America. Hartleys response to the landscape was intense. He found New Mexico essentially a sculptural country, where its sense of formis for me one of the profoundest, most original, and most beautiful I have personally experienced. Henri also commented on the need to be affected by ones surroundings, The object isnt to make art, its to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable.

ThE Art of thE AmErICan WEst SErIEs

Southwestern Allure: The Art of the Santa Fe Art Colony is the first in a yearlong series of exhibitions, all devoted to the art of the American West, at the Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando, Florida. The series celebrates the 15th anniversary of the Mennello, which opened its doors in November 1989. Here is a complete list of the exhibitions in the series:

Southwestern Allure: The Art of the Santa Fe Art Colony

January 17-April 6, 2014 The first exhibition of the series will track the evolution of Santa Fe as an arts center and will explore the pictorial history of the artists and their work.

Mingled Visions: Images From The North American Indian by Edward S. Curtis
April 18-September 14, 2014 A selection of 40 original photogravures by ethnologist and photographer Edward S. Curtis. The pieces will provide an overview of his North American Indian portfolio.

Santa Fe Editor John OHern, who has retired after 30 years in the museum business, specically as the Executive Director and Curator of the Arnot Art Museum, Elmira, N.Y., is the originator of the internationally acclaimed Re-presenting Representation exhibitions. He writes for gallery publications around the world, including regular features on Art Market Insights in American Art Collector magazine. Having succumbed to the lure of the West, he now lives in what he refers to as a converted adobe goat shed, in the high desert of New Mexico, where he is acquainting himself with new ora and fauna.

Prehistoric/Historic Southwest Pottery

April 18-September 14, 2014 A wide selection of Southwest hand-formed pottery from the Cornell Fine Arts Museum and various private collections.

The Taos Society of Artists

October 3, 2014-January 4, 2015 Works by Taos artists Oscar Berninghaus, Walter Ufer, Victor Higgins, Ernest Blumenschein, Herbert Dunton, Bert Phillips, Joseph Henry Sharp, and Martin Hennings.

George Catlins American Buffalo

October 3, 2014-January 4, 2015 American artist George Catlins works on the life and culture of the Plains Indians and the significance of the buffalo.

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