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Southwestern Allure: The Art of the Santa Fe Art Colony

“Santa Fe is beginning to enjoy preeminence in some enviable ways. It is sometimes spoken of as the intellectual capital of the Southwest to its region what Alexandria was at its age.” Dr. Edgar Lee Hewitt, 1920

I found this quote in the New Mexico Museum of Art’s newest exhibition and felt that it truly embodied what the artists and community of Santa Fe must have been experiencing at that time. They were creating paintings, sculptures and forming organizations that would last a lifetime. Many came here from other states because of tuberculosis and other health issues; some just visited and fell in love with the light of our beautiful state. Either way, what they created has lasted decades and continues to weave the story of their time here. We encourage you to visit - take a step back in time and see the dedication and love of preserving the Native cultures, the landscape and the Southwestern scenes for all to enjoy.

The brilliant cobalt blue walls of the museum offer a stunning backdrop for artists such as Post-impressionist painter BJO Nordfeldt, Modernist Andrew Dasburg, American realist painter Randall Davey and his teacher, Robert Henri and so many more - each sharing their vision of New Mexico in their own style. It’s really quite breathtaking and a wonderful history lesson, at the same time.

In 1916, the Art Gallery of the Museum of NM was created under the direction of Dr. Edgar Lee Hewett and Robert Henri and in 1917 the gallery opened with 150 works; many of these remain in the collection to this day. Since then the art gallery, now named the New Mexico Museum of Art, has showcased many exhibitions that remind us of the original “artist colony” and also help us to view the world of art today, some influenced by the past, some searching for a new vision. We look forward to the Centennial celebration in 2017 and encourage you to visit this exhibit before its end of July 27, this year. Safe travels, Deb Swanson

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