Western Art & Architecture- Perspective: Gustave Baumann

TIMING IS EVERYTHING. I had traveled to Santa Fe, in part to see as many Gustave Baumann prints in person as time would allow. My first stop was The Owings Gallery. No sooner had I walked into their elegant space, than out walked a Baumann print. Nathaniel Owings, the gallery’s proprietor, was literally handing a bubble-wrapped package to a smiling client, containing a copy ofThree Pines. I couldn’t have choreographed my visit any better.

It turned out that Three Pines was inspired by a grove of conifers that still exists in the town of Chama, two-and-a-half hours from the gallery. Baumann’s pictorial genius exerted such a strong pull that I briefly gave thought to hopping in the car and driving to that very spot to experience the profound connection between nature and artist. Though I decided to stick around the gallery, I marveled at how Baumann’s woodcut compelled me to even consider making the 150-mile drive. Such is the power of his art.

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