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The Old Guard: Santa Fe Art Colony Founders

April 18 - July 18, 2004


On April 17, 2004, the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum will open the first in a series of exhibitions celebrating the centennial of the founding of the Santa Fe Art Colony. The first exhibition, The Old Guard: Santa Fe Art Colony Founders, will focus on the work of Carlos Vierra, Sheldon Parsons, Warren E. Rollins, and Gerald Cassidy. The other exhibitions in the series will be "Albert H. Schmidt: Lost and Found in Santa Fe," and "Women Artists of Santa Fe." (Right: Carlos Vierra, Zia Pueblo Mission, oil on canvas, 28 x 36 inches, Nelda Monroe, Panhandle Plains Historical Museum)

A native of Moss Landing, California, a small fishing town on Monterey Bay, Carlos Vierra (1876-1937) studied at the Mark Hopkins School in San Francisco and in New York. After moving to Santa Fe to seek relief from tuberculosis, Vierra made paintings and photographs of traditional Indian and Spanish architecture. He became active in the preservation of the architectural heritage of New Mexico and painted murals for the Museum of Fine Arts at Santa Fe and also sent murals to the Panama-Pacific Exposition at San Diego in 1916.

Warren E. Rollins (1861-1962) studied at the San Francisco School of Design and painted in northern California and Oregon, before coming the Southwest in 1906 to paint at Grand Canyon. The Nevada-native Rollins (1861-1962) settled at Santa Fe around 1910 and taught painting at the Palace of the Governors. Rollins became president of the Santa Fe Artists Club and today is called the "dean of the Santa Fe art colony."

A Kentuckian raised in Cincinnati, Ira Diamond "Gerald" Cassidy (1878-1934) studied with Frank Duveneck and in New York at the Art Students League and the National Academy of Design. After a European tour Cassidy settled briefly at Denver before moving to Albuquerque in 1890 seeking relief from tuberculosis. He moved to Santa Fe in 1912 becoming its third resident artist.

Also seeking relief from tuberculosis, Sheldon Parsons (1866-1943) arrived in Santa Fe in 1913, settling there permanently. He had studied at the National Academy of Design and was a successful portrait and landscape painter in New York. In 1914 he became art curator for the Museum of New Mexico.

These four artists form the "old guard" of the Santa Fe Art Colony and their works will be featured in the exhibition. The Panhandle Plains Historical Museum's extensive collection of Cassidy and Rollins's work will form the foundation for "The Old Guard" exhibition. Other works from public and private lenders will finish out the exhibition.

Artists of the Santa Fe Art Colony were exhibiting at the Palace of the Governors at Santa Fe as early as 1916. Through teaching and exhibitions the Santa Fe Art Colony flourished in the 1930s and 1940s, and its presence is felt today in the vital Santa Fe art scene.

The Old Guard: Santa Fe Art Colony Founders will be on exhibit April 18 through July 18, 2004.

RLM readers may also wish to reference How the Santa Fe Art Colony Began, an article by Suzanne Deats; Women Artist Pioneers of New Mexico, an article by Dottie Indyke; Panama-California Exposition San Diego 1915-1916, A History of the Exposition, by Richard Amero; plus information on the Palace of the Governors at Santa Fe, and Frank Duveneck,

See further information on the Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, and the National Academy Museum in RLM.

Please Note: RLM does not endorse sites behind external links. We offer them for your additional research; external links were chosen on the basis of being the most informative online source at the time of our search.

rev. 4/5/04

Read more articles and essays concerning this institutional source by visiting the sub-index page for the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Resource Library Magazine.

Search for more articles and essays on American art in Resource Library. See America's Distinguished Artists for biographical information on historic artists.

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