At the center of the Santa Fe art scene for a half-century, Gustave Baumann (1881-1971) drew on the invigorating influences of other European and American artists, along with Native American potters and watercolor painters, to produce a wealth of woodblock prints depicting the southwestern landscape, its peoples, and their rituals. As his images grew more complex, he devised innovative printing techniques, creating luminous prints with warm, blended hues.
Gustave Baumann’s Southwest presents over fifty of the artist’s woodblock prints and gouaches, with an essay by Joseph Traugott, curator of twentieth-century art at the Museum of Fine Arts, New Mexico. Traugott outlines Baumann’s life story, dwelling on the decisive moments when the artist struck out on his own. After he turned away from his early commercial success as an advertising illustrator in Chicago, Baumann combined a modern palette and techniques both traditional and modern while depicting subjects that existed long before an industrial revolution transformed American life.