For generations, the visual drama of the Rocky Mountains has seduced artists. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, painters, photographers, and sculptors who visited or settled in northern New Mexico created evocative visions that came to represent the West for audiences across America.
During the 1920s and 1930s, Santa Fe and Taos were recognized as two of the nation's--and world's--most important art communities. The cosmopolitan denizens of these relatively remote outposts embraced a multicultural America by engaging with Native American and Hispano populations, and, spurred by the enduring mystique of New Mexico as 'the land of enchantment,' succeeding generations have continued that legacy.
This exhibition features works by such luminaries as Ernest L. Blumenschein, E. Irving Couse, Stuart Davis, Leon Gaspard, Robert Henri, John Marin, John Sloan, and Walter Ufer. These are juxtaposed with pieces be lesser-known artists, including William VerPlanck Birney, Richard Crisler, Katherine Levin Farrell, Jan Matulka, Arthur Musgrave, Polia Pillin, and Beulah Stevenson.
New Beginnings places the works of these and other artists in a national and international context, adding a new dimension to the history of the Taos and Santa Fe art colonies.
The American and European romantics and modernists celebrated in this exhibition found for themselves new beginnings in the cultural and natural splendor of northern New Mexico, and it was their artistic explorations - deeply rooted in a sense of place - that helped redefine modern art in America.