Emil James Bisttram
(1895 - 1976)
Hungarian-born Emil James Bisttram achieved early success as an artist, studying and teaching at several prominent art schools, including the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts, Parson’s, and the Master Institute of the Roerich Museum. In 1931, Bisttram was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship which allowed him to travel to Mexico to study mural painting with Diego Rivera. In 1934, he was commissioned to paint murals for the Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.).
Bisttram founded the Taos School of Art as well as the first commercial gallery in Taos. Together with Raymond Johnson and others, Bisttram started the Transcendental Painting Group in Santa Fe in 1938. He was very active in fostering the growth of the arts in New Mexico up until his death at 81.
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