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Gustave Baumann (1881-1971)

Born in Madgeburg, Germany in 1881, Gutave Baumann moved to Chicago at the age of 10.  By the age of 17, Baumann was working at an engraving studio, while studying at the Art Institute of Chicago.  In 1905 he returned to Germany to further his studies, and it was there that he mastered the art of color woodblock prints. 
Upon his return to the U.S. in 1906, Baumann settled in Chicago, where he worked in the field of commercial illustration until his move to the growing art colony in Brown County Indiana.  Baumann was productive there, and his works from this period are rather literal interpretations of rural life in bucolic settings.
In 1918, Gustave Baumann first arrived in New Mexico, spending a summer in Taos with friends Victor Higgins and Walter Ufer.   Shortly after, Baumann settled permanently in Santa Fe, where he explored color and light as he never had before.  His works began to embody the color scheme of the southwest and the vastness of his adopted home.  His palette would brighten radically, and his forms and perspectives would be altered to convey a sense of space and scale.  The culture, traditions and art of the Native Americans were well represented in his works, which peaked in their output in the 1920ís, though the artist remained active in Santa Fe until his death there in 1971.

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