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Titled, and “#854” on stretcher bar

In Edgar Payne: The Scenic Journey, Scott A. Shields and Patricia Trenton wrote, “So when, in the summer of 1916, Payne decided to take his palette and brushes, his family, and his peripatetic disposition into the Southwest why did he not choose Taos? Walter Ufer commented to the press that year that Taos was welcoming, available, and essentially untouched. ‘It is the variety, the depth and the breadth of it, rooted in eons of time ... which explain the secret of its in nite charm. The portrait painter, the landscape artist, the limner of character, the genre and historical painter, every school and every temperament, will here find their hearts desires.’ Yet Payne was known for his determined independence and his search for remote locations. And while Taos was certainly not on any main line, it was already, by 1916, almost overly popular. Blumenschein wrote that in the summers around this time, more than a hundred artists would visit Taos, a perfect reason for Payne to divert his attentions elsewhere.

“In addition, Payne had clearly expressed himself about his vision as an artist, and it did not include expending effort on the mundane. The Pueblo Indians were a pastoral, agrarian people who by mid-decade had become the most popular indigenous culture in the America. The Pueblo were picturesque, but the Navajo, with their nomadic ways and their expansive geographic realm, were considered sublime. Payne responded to ‘bigness,’ and Navajo land promised all that he could imagine.”

The Estate of Daniel L. Berman, Salt Lake City, UT

Bierstadt to Warhol, American Indians in the West, Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City, UT, Feb 14-Aug 11, 2013

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