Art and New Mexico

$55.00 hardcover

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The Art of New Mexico: How the West Is One

Joseph Traugott

This lavishly illustrated book explores the aesthetic and cultural impact of New Mexico art from the 1880s to the present and highlights a refreshing range of works representing European, Native, ethnic, tourist, regional, and commercial art. For the past 125 years, art in New Mexico has told a complex story of aesthetic interaction and cultural fusion. Southwest art began with nineteenth-century documentarians confronting a disappearing Native America and an exotic landscape. Artists who arrived in New Mexico beginning in the 1880s wrestled with the commercialization of the region and the clash of cultural identities. Native peoples and expedition photographers, tourism and the railroad, artist colonies, the arrival of modernism, Trinity and the end of romanticism, a new generation of Native artists challenging ethnic identity—all have played a part in what we now call New Mexican art. The Art of New Mexico provides new perspectives on the evolution of art in the state and highlights the outstanding collection of the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe, which is the repository for some of the finest works by renowned artists such as Adam Clark Vroman, Marsden Hartley, Robert Henri, John Sloan, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Luis Elijo Tapia. Curator and author Joseph Traugott discusses how Native American and Hispanic artists of the Southwest not only influenced the non-native artists who came to call New Mexico home, but how in turn their work was influenced by these newcomers. By organizing key objects from the museum's collection with an intercultural history of New Mexico art, the book makes cogent connections between specific works, aesthetic movements, and cultural traditions. As a result, this book will engage readers who are well versed in the artistic traditions of New Mexico, as well as those new to its aesthetic heritage. The book is published to coincide with a reinstallation of the permanent collection at the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe.


Joseph Traugott is the curator of twentieth-century art at the New Mexico Museum of Art and the author of numerous books including New Mexico Art Through Time: Prehistory to the Present and Sole Mates: Cowboy Boots and Art (both Museum of New Mexico Press).


"Using the collection of the (New Mexico Art Museum) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, curator Joseph Traugott explores the rich and varied history of art in New Mexico and its place in the national canon. Since its founding in 1917, the museum's leadership has been deliberate in its curatorial choices and generous in its documentary urges, and so Traugott has a great deal to work with, from debates about architecture and interior design to decisions on the nature of each round of acquisitions, offering a surprisingly complete record of the institution's growth and development. As such, it should find a broad audience: art lovers will relish the ample plates explained in straightforward, concise prose; art historians will appreciate the wealth of details about artists, movements, and the museum; and history buffs will appreciate the story of the region as revealed through its art. As the title suggests, Traugott aims to find the unity in New Mexico's diverse artistic heritage. . . . Those who come for the art won't be disappointed."


Publisher's Weekly

"If you want a comprehensive, informative, and visually stimulating overview of art in the Land of Enchantment, you can't do much better than (this book)."


Taos News Tempo Magazine

"Rewarding and thought-provoking read. . . . The work includes, but often transcends, typical Southwestern imagery, making this volume a good antidote to misperceptions about the art of the Land of Enchantment."


Bloomsbury Review

Published By Museum of New Mexico Press/Published in association with the New Mexico Museum of Art

9.5 x 11.5 in. 288 pages 228 color illustrations