As a young man, Gustave Baumann (American, b. Germany, 1881–1971) seldom escaped from the cities where he worked as a commercial printmaker. A visit to the tiny artists’ colony of rural Nashville, Indiana, opened his eyes to a preindustrial world that he would make the subject of countless woodcuts in the decades to come.
After many years of moving around, Gustave Baumann settled in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1918. The New Mexico landscape and the culture of Southwestern Native Americans filled many of the prints that Baumann produced over the years that followed. He would make a preliminary sketch using pencil and tempera, then retire to his studio where the painting served as a template for carving a woodblock matrix. Tempera—the medium of the two images reproduced for these cards—produces unmodulated planes of color, perfect for approximating the appearance of a print.