Local Exhibits and Events - December 2015

SANTA FE

New Mexico Museum of Art
"Gustave Baumann and New Mexico"
Through March 20, 2016

Lovers of the colorful woodblock prints of Gustave Baumann will not want to miss this show at the New Mexico Museum of Art. The exhibit highlights a wide variety of Baumann's work, giving the viewer a sense for the breadth of work that Baumann produced over the course of his long career. The New Mexico Museum of Art can boast being the world's largest repository of Baumann material. On display are works on paper, paintings, and prints, as well as examples of the marionette puppets he carved, inititally for the amusement of his daughter and later, for the wider Santa Fe community.

Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian
"Connoisseurship and Good Pie: Ted Coe and Collecting Native Art"
Through April 17, 2016

This wide-ranging exhibit presents over 200 works of Native American art from the significant collection of Ted Coe. Trained as an art historian, Coe is now regarded as a pioneer in the field of Native art studies. During his career, he traveled great distances to further his knowledge, develop personal friendships, and collect works by Native artists. He furthered his commitment and passion for this work through teaching others with exhibitions, books, and his own personal advocacy. Today Coe is credited with helping to increase awareness, appreciation, and understanding of both traditional and contemporary works. This exhibition of selected works from Coe's 2,200 piece collection presents historical and contemporary objects, salon style, from tribes across all of North America.

Feliz Navidad: A New Mexico Mariachi Christmas
December 11, 6 to 8 p.m.
Lensic Performing Arts Center

An annual Hispanic tradition in Santa Fe, "A New Mexico Mariachi Christmas" presents mariachi music in a bilingual fashion in celebration of the holiday season.

Las Posadas
December 13, 5:30 to 7 p.m.
New Mexico History Museum

CONTINUED: A Santa Fe annual tradition, Las Posadas is a candle-lit procession that begins at the portal of the Palace of the Governors, proceeds around the Plaza, and concludes in the Palace Courtyard. This procession continues an old Hispanic tradition which re-enacts the story of the wanderings of Mary and Joseph prior to the birth of Jesus. Carols are sung in the Palace Courtyard and refreshments are served. Free and open to the public.

TAOS

Harwood Museum
"Pressing Through Time"
Through January 24, 2016

"Pressing Through Time" explores the rich history of printmaking in the Taos region. The exhibit discusses 19th-century efforts, including prints by Peter Moran, and moves through the twentieth century. The Taos Society of Artists are represented, many of whom were skilled printmakers, and were followed by a large number of artists who explored various print mediums in modernist expression. The exhibit includes exceptional examples from Howard Cook, Ward Lockwood, Gene Kloss and Doel Reed.

Exhibits Nationwide - December 2015

Denver Art Museum
"Super Indian: Fritz Scholder, 1967-1980"
Through January 17, 2016

In this exhibit, the Denver Art Museum presents over 40 works by Fritz Scholder (1937-2005) that are described as "rarely seen" and "monumental." The exhibit shows the development of the artist's style during the years 1967 to 1980, the period that catapulted him to international fame. Moving thematically, it includes early Indian series; pop art; psychological portraiture; stereotypes and representation; and mysterious subjects. "Super Indian" exhibit will be travelling to the Phoenix Art Museum (February 26, 2016 to June 5, 2016) and to the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Overland Park, Kansas (June 23, 2016 to September 18, 2016).

Special event at the Denver Art Museum
January 7, 2016
American Indian Art Symposium: "In Dialogue: Fritz Scholder and the Art World."

AND

"Wyeth: Andrew and Jamie in the Studio"
Through February 7, 2016

Works by father and son artists are exhibited side by side, including paintings, pen and ink, charcoal and graphite drawings, and mixed media. According to the exhibit curators, this is the first time that a museum exhibit has featured these two artists together with the intention of highlighting "the shared context of their autobiographies, studio practices, and imaginations."

AND upcoming:

"A Place in the Sun: The Southwest Paintings of Walter Ufer & E. Martin Hennings"
December 13, 2015 to  April 24, 2016

We are eagerly looking forward to this exhibit that pairs the works of two Taos masters: Walter Ufer and E. Martin Hennings. Organized in a chronological fashion with prime examples of large-scale works, the exhibit will highlight the distinctive approach that each artist brought to their Taos subject matter.

Exhibit events:
January 6 - "Walter Ufer and E. Martin Hennings - An In-Depth Look,"
Annual Western American Art Symposium: a full-day symposium featuring leading scholars of the works of Ufer and Hennings.
January 8 - "Conversation with Curator: A Place in the Sun." Curator Thomas Brent Smith will provide background information on the exhibit.

CONTINUED:

Peabody Essex Art Museum, Salem, Massachusetts
"Native Fashion Now"
Through March 6, 2016

An interesting show now on display at the Peabody Essex Art Museum highlights the current creativity and influence of Native American fashion designers. Ranging from casual to haute couture, this exhibit includes approximately 100 works reflecting the last 50 years. The exhibit brings to light aspects of cross-cultural and evident borrowing of motifs between European-American and Native American cultures, exemplified by Jamie Okuma's (Luiseño/Shoshone-Bannock) beadwork on Christian Louboutin boots. And particularly noteworthy for New Mexicans is the inclusion of Taos Pueblo designer Patricia Michaels, one of the featured contemporary designers who participated in the television series, "Project Runway."

Boston Museum of Fine Arts
"Class Distinctions: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer"
Through January 18, 2016

This is a groundbreaking exhibition of 75 carefully selected Dutch paintings. Including masterpieces never before seen in the United States, the exhibit brings together portraits, genre scenes, landscapes and seascapes from European and American public and private collections. Organized in a fashion to emphasize 17th-century ideas concerning social stratification, the show includes artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Jan Steen, Pieter de Hooch, and Gerard ter Borch. Class distinctions were shown through the subjects' manner of dress, the settings and elaboration of the work itself. Exhibition materials will guide the visitors with clues as to what to look for in each painting and the meaning behind these subjects.

Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska
"Go West! Art of the American Frontier"
Through April 17, 2016

More than 90 works of art and artifacts from the collection of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West are currently on display at the Joslyn Art Museum. The exhibit explores the profound changes that occured in the American West during the 19th century due to the exploration and settlement of European Americans on the frontier and the eventual displacement of Native peoples from their ancestral lands. The exhibit includes paintings, sculpture, and Native American artifacts created between the 1830s to the 1920s.

JOHN SLOAN IN NEW MEXICO; October 2015

by Stacia Lewandowski

It's interesting to think about the now-famous artists who at one time could be seen strolling Santa Fe's streets, perhaps carrying a canvas or two ready for exhibition at the art museum. Robert Henri thoroughly enjoyed his long visits in 1916 and 1917 that afforded him the opportunity to paint subjects far removed from his more typical urban fare. And imagine Marsden Hartley, from 1918 to 1919, stepping out of his studio at the Palace of the Governors carrying one of his thickly painted pictures imbued with abstracted santos or colorfully craggy mountains. Later, in the 1920s, both Stuart Davis (1923) and Edward Hopper (1925) sought inspiration from the city's unique cultural and historical attributes. These artists helped to put Santa Fe on the map, fostering the idea that Santa Fe had something out of the ordinary to offer artists.

But in terms of commitment and the development of Santa Fe's own artist community, it's John Sloan who could be called the most influential artist of them all. When he and the young artist Randall Davey arrived in 1919 after an exhausting six-week car drive from New York, both immediately found the city and its atmosphere well worth their efforts. They had been encouraged to visit Santa Fe by Robert Henri, who told them fantastic stories and spoke passionately about the city's intriguing artistic possibilities. At that point in his career, Sloan decided a change of scene would likely do him good. And when he arrived in Santa Fe, museum officials provided him studio space at the Palace of the Governors near the studio Marsden Hartley was using that same summer. Indeed, he was warmly welcomed.

Interestingly, during his first season of work in the splendid Southwest, Sloan reported to Henri that he had changed his typical working method and was only painting indoors in the studio. He admitted to Henri, "'contrary to my usual custom in Gloucester, I have made no work in the open.'"1 He enjoyed, and even practiced, gaining strong visual impressions of something - the landscape or a Pueblo dance - and afterward worked from memory to construct a composition. This is noteworthy because in later years, Sloan took to working outdoors in New Mexico. And he incorporated city life--typical street scenes, daily customs, and even special events in the city--just as he did with his New York scenes.

When he initially arrived in Santa Fe, Sloan was in mid-career. He was exhibiting regularly in New York and was a very popular teacher. But he didn't sell much. As a result of his first visit to Santa Fe, Sloan returned to New York with paintings of entirely new subject matter. The artist of crowded urban street scenes and laundry-draped multi-storied apartment buildings now revealed canvases filled with sun-drenched vistas of mountains and modest adobe buildings, of a life exceedingly remote from what his New York viewers expected of him. From trips to nearby Pueblos, Sloan also made paintings of dances he observed and admired. His next exhibit in New York then,  .  .  .           CONTINUED:  at Kraushaar Gallery, included eighteen paintings of Santa Fe subjects, along with only two others. Though not a single painting sold, critics recognized that something was different for Sloan and commented that his work seemed to be revitalized. Sloan felt the same way.

Santa Fe offered Sloan the perfect antidote to the hectic nature of his life in New York City. When he and his wife Dolly returned the next summer they promptly purchased an adobe house on Garcia Street near Canyon Road. In the rear of the property he built a studio for himself and even included a tall observation tower above the roof that allowed him a grand view of the mountains and all the immediate surroundings. It seems that Sloan was reinvigorated. His biographer claims that the landscape paintings he made that summer were "some of his best landscapes in several years."2 And when he returned to New York, even his sales improved. In 1921 the Metropolitan Museum purchased one of his paintings, a New York scene, "Dust Storm, Fifth Avenue," and Vanity Fair placed Sloan in its Hall of Fame, calling him "'one of the most vigorous of present-day American painters.'"3

Sloan remained committed to his summers in Santa Fe. For the next three decades, he immersed himself in city life--physically during summers--and by letter and association the remaining part of each year. He became so involved, in fact, that he began to remark that there was too much going on in Santa Fe, and so much socializing, that he had trouble finding enough time for painting.

During the 1920s and '30s, as Santa Fe's artist community grew, Sloan counted himself as one of them. He was always ready to participate in organized events, including joining in making elaborate floats for the annual Fiesta parades. Young artists looked to him, seeking his expertise as an experienced art teacher and exhibition organizer. (After all, he was one of "The Eight" whose exhibit at New York's Macbeth Galleries in 1908 famously led to the term, "The Ash Can School," and for many years he served as president and organizer of the Society of Independent Artists in New York.)  Sloan exhibited his work regularly at Santa Fe's art museum and even donated some of it for their permanent collection. He voiced his opinion about current events in town, and Santa Fe's artists knew they could depend on him to stand alongside them. His voice carried weight. Sloan's friendships were true and long lasting, and he loved, indeed savored, the simple authentic charm of his Southwestern idyll.

When John Sloan did not return to Santa Fe during the summer of 1951, all of the artists felt the void created by his absence. And when his great friend, Will Shuster, received the telegram reporting his death on September 8th, it was a grave shock. The newspaper responded the next day by dedicating a large amount of space to the writings of Sloan's various Santa Fe friends who were eager to pay tribute to an artist of lasting influence.

Footnotes:
1.  John Loughery, John Sloan: Painter and Rebel (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1995), p. 251.
2.  Ibid., p. 258
3.  Ibid., p. 259

Local Exhibits - October 2015

SANTA FE

Lovers of American modernism take note! Several arts organizations in Santa Fe are currently hosting a series of events in honor of American modernism. Including gallery exhibits and special programs, "Fall of Modernism" is anchored by significant exhibits at the Museum of Art and the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum.

New Mexico Museum of Art
"O'Keeffe in Process"
Through January 17, 2016

"O’Keeffe in Process" is a collaborative project that brings together works from the museum collection, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, and private collections. The exhibit is unusual for the sheer variety of artworks that are on display--from the artist's very early days as a student and continuing through the diverse locations that mark the different eras of her long career. By including O'Keeffe's preliminary sketches and photographs alongside finished works, the visitor is allowed the rare opportunity to gain an appreciation for her creative process and working method.

AND

"An American Modernism"
Through February 21, 2016

With works from its own collection, the Museum has created a showcase of modernist art. Dating from the three decades before World War II, the exhibit includes more than fifty paintings, drawings, prints, and photographs. In choosing each of these works the curator hoped to illustrate the different paths each artist blazed, some employing the spirit of the machine age, while others dealt with the elements of humanity or nature. Artists included in the show are Andrew Dasburg, Marsden Hartley, Georgia O’Keeffe, Paul Strand, Alfred Stieglitz, Cady Wells, and Edward Weston, among others.

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum
"From New York to New Mexico: Masterworks of American Modernism from the Vilcek Foundation Collection"
Through January 10, 2016

CONTINUED: The O'Keeffe Museum is hosting this traveling exhibit. Works are drawn from an art collection that was expertly amassed over many decades by Jan and Marica Vilcek, a couple who immigrated to the U.S. from the former Czechoslovakia.The exhibit affords visitors an opportunity to see a collection of extraordinary focus--paintings by artists who are recognized today as masters of  American modernism. These were artists who were drawn to express the "newness" of modern life through their art and helped to create an identity for art that is expressly American. Comprising more than 60 masterworks dating from the 1910s to the post-War era, the artists include Marsden Hartley, Stuart Davis, Arthur Dove, Georgia O'Keeffe, and many more.

Also on display at the New Mexico Museum of Art:

"Looking Forward/Looking Back"
Through January 17, 2016

This exhibit juxtaposes historical art from the museum's collection by women artists alongside contemporary works by significant feminist artists. Artists include Juane Quick-to See Smith, with selections from her Paper Dolls for a Post Colonial World, and Eleanor Antin, Louise Bourgeois, Beatrice Wood, Angela Ellsworth and Ligia Bouton.

TAOS

E. L. Blumenschein Home and Museum
"The Founder's Daughter: Prints by Helen G. Blumenschein"
Through January 15, 2016


Helen Blumenschein, daughter of artists Ernest and Mary Greene Blumenschein, was a highly trained artist herself. During the late 1920s and 1930s, she studied art in Paris and New York, including four years at the Art Students League where she focused on printmaking. Helen exhibited nationally and internationally and won particluar praise for her prints. Largely overlooked today, this exhibit provides a welcome opportunity to see a group of her acclaimed prints in her family home.

Exhibits Nationwide - October 2015

Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma
"Painted Journeys: The Art of John Mix Stanley"
Through January 3, 2016

John Mix Stanley is one of the most important artists to depict life in the early days of the American West. During the first half of the 19th century, he traveled almost incessantly, visiting numerous tribes, villages and forts. The portraits he painted came to be called his North American Indian Gallery. In 1852, he arranged to have some 200 of these works housed and displayed at the Smithsonian Institution. Tragically, a fire in 1865 destroyed all but seven of those original paintings. Fortunately, not all was lost and Stanley continued his work. This is a rare opportunity to see  60 Stanley paintings, including portraits and scenes from his encounters on his travels in the very early days of the western territories. The exhibit at the Gilcrease was organized by Peter Hassrick and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, in Cody, Wyoming, and also features a new book published by the same name.

Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
"The Modern Pueblo Painting of Awa Tsireh"
Through January 31, 2016

The works by one of the most celebrated early Pueblo artists, Awa Tsireh (1898-1955), are being exhibited at the Smithsonian. Awa Tsireh was from San Ildefonso Pueblo and his career as an artist developed alongside the growth of Santa Fe's art colony. He was a good friend of artist William Penhallow Henderson and his wife, Alice Corbin, and Henderson painted a portrait of Awa Tsireh, now in the collection of the New Mexico Museum of Art. This exhibit, of fifty-one watercolors painted between 1917 and 1930, is the first time these works have been shown together in a public exhibit. They were in the Henderson's own collection and donated to the Smithsonian in 1979 by their daughter, Alice H. Rossin.

Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, TX
"Tales from the American West: The Rees-Jones Collection"
Through February 21, 2016

CONTINUED: This collection of significant Western art was put together by a Dallas collector who acknowledged that his interest in American Western art grew from his childhood visits to the Amon Carter Museum. It is therefore fitting that the public debut of the Rees-Jones collection is being presented by the Amon Carter Museum. Featuring works from the nineteenth century through the 1920s, the exhibit includes paintings in oil and watercolor, sculpture and photography, by the best known artists of the genre, such as George Catlin, Henry Farny, Joseph Sharp, Frederic Remington and Charles Russell.

Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, Missouri
"American Epics: Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood"
October 10, 2015 through January 3, 2016

Kansas City was home to Thomas Hart Benton for forty years and the Nelson-Atkins Museum has long been associated with him. But it has been more than 25 years since the museum has hosted a major exhibition of Benton's works and this one sounds fascinating. Early in his career, Benton worked on silent movie sets in Fort Lee, New Jersey, and in Hollywood. The museum curators have produced this exhibit to show how Benton was influenced by the visual storytelling of film (moving pictures in his day) and argue that it "inspired his signature style of painting . . . that appealed to a broad range of Americans." An all-encompassing exhibit, "American Epics" brings together 50 paintings and murals, plus assorted drawings, prints, illustrated books, film clips and related Benton ephemera.

Museum of Nebraska Art, Kearney, Nebraska
"Native American Presence on the Missouri"
Through November 1, 2015

This exhibit highlights the importance of the Missouri River as the route of exploration for Eastern Americans entering the newly acquired western territories in the early 1800s. The banks of the long river were home to numerous Native American tribes. For most explorers and visitors on the river, it was the place of first contact between the cultures. In this exhibit, the museum explores this early interaction as portrayed in etchings, steel engravings, lithographs, and woodblocks by Karl Bodmer, George Catlin, and William De La Montagne Cary, among others. Adding further depth to the show are illustrations from newspaper publications, and photographs by Frank Rinehart, the official photographer of the Indian Congress in Omaha at the 1898 Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition.

Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, Arizona
"American and European Art from the 1920s and 1930s"
Through November 15, 2015

The Phoenix Art Museum has curated an exhibit from its own collection of works from the 1920s and '30s, designed to complement the traveling Vilcek Foundation Collection exhibit that they hosted over the summer. (And now showing at Santa Fe's Georgia O'Keeffe Museum.) Beginning with the First World War, the exhibit highlights this tumultuous period, influenced by the rise of jazz and the automobile, voting rights for women, the Great Depression and political conflict. Through the expression of modernism, the curators show how the artworks reflect the dynamism of the times. Artists include both European and American masters.

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