The Clemmer Collection: A History of New Mexico Print Artists

Peyton Wright Gallery is pleased to present works from The Clemmer Collection in an exhibition of graphic media spanning the period from the late 19th through the mid 20th centuries.

The exhibition opens Friday, July 5th, 2024 with an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. The exhibition runs through Monday, September 30.

The prints in the collection encompass a variety of techniques ranging from etching and lithography to woodblock, linocut, aquatint, serigraphy and monotype. The collection of fifty works is stylistically diverse with examples of academic realism, regionalism, modernism and cubist-inspired abstraction, presented in the main rooms of Peyton Wright Gallery in museum quality framing.

The collection includes pieces by artists who will be familiar to many, but the primary focus is on the work of lesser-known printmakers. Some of the artists to be exhibited were active in New Mexico for decades, while others visited the state for a few weeks or less.

Once the success and renown of the Taos Society of Artists put northern New Mexico on the art world map, the region began to attract an array of artists from across the country and around the world. Many of them were painters, but artists who worked in the print medium made the trek as well. A significant number of the prints in The Clemmer Collection were produced from the mid-1920s through the ‘40s, when widespread economic hardship made it difficult for artists to sell their work. The print medium allowed for an artist to produce multiple images quickly and inexpensively and to sell them at affordable prices.

Of the early New Mexico artists who worked primarily in the print medium,  Gustave Baumann and Gene Kloss are undoubtedly the best known. The Clemmer Collection reveals that there were many others who found similar inspiration in the landscape and in the vibrant tri-cultural communities of the region, especially those of Santa Fe and Taos.

Some of these artists are largely lost to history: little is known about printmakers such as B. Pat Pattison of Taos, represented in the exhibition by two vibrant linocut portraits, and Albert H. Marvin, Jr., whose lithograph ‘Junk Dealer, Taos’ eschews more commonly depicted landmarks for a charming backstreet scene of everyday life.

The long tradition of print making in New Mexico can be traced back to the work of Peter Moran, younger brother of the acclaimed landscapist Thomas Moran. Beginning in 1880, Peter Moran began producing paintings, drawings and prints based upon his visits to Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos and the Rio Grande pueblos. The wealth of material he produced establishes him as the first artist to produce a substantial body of work depicting New Mexican subjects. Moran is represented here by a superb group of etchings that includes a Taos scene printed on silk and a rare etching (‘The Burro Train, New Mexico’) modified with the addition of unique monotyping.

Thomas Moran, whose New Mexico etchings are much fewer in number than those of his brother, is represented as well with an 1881 image of San Juan Pueblo.

The exhibition includes hand-colored etchings by Blanche McVeigh and Dorothy Stauffer, woodblocks and serigraphs by Norma Bassett Hall, and a rare white-line woodblock depicting a Buffalo Dance at Taos Pueblo by Henrietta Dean Lang.

Other highlights include Howard Cook’s iconic 1927 wood engraving of Taos Pueblo titled ‘Morning Smokes,’ a pair of rare etching/aquatints by Canadian artist John Wesley Cotton,and Santa Fe scenes by master etcher Roi Partridge.

What: The Clemmer Collection: A History of New Mexico Print Artists

 

Where: Peyton Wright Gallery, 237 East Palace Avenue, Santa Fe NM

 

When: Exhibition opening reception: Friday, July 5, 2024, 5 to 7 p.m.

 

             Exhibition: Friday, July 5, 2024  – Monday, September 30, 2024

             Mon- Sat 9 -5