The Art of New Mexico: How the West is One

This lavishly illustrated book explores the aesthetic and cultural impact of New Mexico art from the 1880s to the present, and highlights a refreshing range of works representing European, native, ethnic, tourist, regional and commercial art.

For the past 125 years, art in New Mexico has told a complex story of aesthetic interaction and cultural fusion. Southwest art began with 19th-century documentarians confronting a disappearing Native America and an exotic landscape. Artists who arrived in New Mexico beginning in the 1880s wrestled with the commercialization of the region and the clash of cultural identities. Native peoples and expedition photographers, tourism and the railroad, artist colonies, the arrival of modernism, Trinity and the end of romanticism, a new generation of native artists challenging ethnic identity—all have played a part in what we now call New Mexican art.

The Art of New Mexico provides new perspectives on the evolution of art in the state, and highlights the outstanding collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, which is the repository for some of the finest works by renowned artists such as Adam Clark Vroman, Marsden Hartley, Robert Henri, John Sloan, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Luis Elijo Tapia.

Curator and author Joseph Traugott discusses how Native American and Hispanic artists of the Southwest not only influenced the non-native artists who came to call New Mexico home, but how in turn their work was influenced by these newcomers. By organizing key objects from the museum's collection with an intercultural history of New Mexico art, the book makes cogent connections between specific works, aesthetic movements, and cultural traditions. As a result, The Art of New Mexico will engage readers who are well versed in the artistic traditions of New Mexico, as well as those new to its aesthetic heritage.