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Gustave Baumann (German/American, 1881-1971)
Birth Place: Magdeburg (Magdeburg district, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany)
A native of Germany and classically trained as an artist and printmaker in both Germany and at the Art Institute of Chicago, Gustave Baumann combined old world craftsmanship in the creation of wood block prints with a modern sensibility and talent for portraying the native people and landscape of the American Southwest. Baumann first visited Northern New Mexico after hearing about the area from his friends Victor Higgins and Walter Ufer, two artists with Chicago ties who had already been spending a portion of each year in Taos. He spent several weeks sketching in Taos in the summer of 1918 only to reject most of the work he had done there. He felt that his use of a rather somber palette, appropriate for his Midwestern work, was simply not conducive to interpreting the light and vibrancy of the colors of New Mexico. He settled in Santa Fe later that year to develop a new approach to his art and remained there for the next fifty years. During that time, he produced many wood block prints of the surrounding landscape and became a master at the printmaking craft. Most of his editions numbered fewer than 125 prints, but most editions were completed over several years.
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