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A 300 piece puzzle of Sheldon Parsons, "Grand Canyon of the Colorado", 1918, oil on canvas painting. From the collection of the New Mexico Museum of Art.
Sheldon Parsons (1866-1943) established his career in New York as a portraitist, but felt the pull to the southwest by 1913. Once in New Mexico, Parsons found the terrain of New Mexico irresistible. In fact the impact of the dry, pure air and bare landscape was sufficiently strong to change Parsons' entire style. Parsons gave up portraiture and never again returned to figure painting. His entire focus became the skies, mountains and soft, pliable adobe architecture of Northern New Mexico. Parsons quickly became a major force in the burgeoning Santa Fe art scene. When the New Mexico Museum of Fine Art was constructed in 1917, Parsons became its first director. He regularly showed his work in the nearby Palace of the Governors galleries alongside that of the many fine artists who spent time in Santa Fe.
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