For artists of the twentieth century, the southwestern United States provided great inspiration, much like the Hudson River Valley the century before. Artists from across the nation traveled to New Mexico, Arizona, and Southern California—some seeking spiritual enlightenment while others yearned to escape the ever-expanding metropolises of New York and Chicago. Spurred by the establishment of artist colonies and wealthy patrons like Mabel Dodge Luhan, who in 1917 left New York City for Taos, artists were drawn to the geography and distinctive character of the southwestern states. While the Southwest as a region is not unified in culture or landscape, it was indeed this very diversity and sense of freedom that captured the attention of artists throughout America. Georgia O’Keeffe, who became closely associated with Mabel Dodge Luhan’s circle, has long been famed for her abstracted depictions of New Mexico’s landscape. However, many more artists including Alice Ellen Klauber, Lucy Lewis, Belle Baranceanu, Edith Anne Hamlin, and Gene Kloss also drew upon the environs, culture, and indigenous traditions of the Southwest. This exhibition highlights the work of both well-known and lesser-known artists—women who, while often overshadowed by their male contemporaries, actively sought connections to the people, heritage, and landscape of the southwestern United States.

Featured: Georgia O’Keeffe, In the Patio I, 1946. Oil on paper attached to board. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Norton S. Walbridge. 1986.35. © 2019 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York