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Santa Fe, New Mexico, was reinvented to attract modernists and cultural tourists in the 1920's and 30's. Its artistic legacy is undimmed, with new artists inspired by its light and landscape
By the late 1910s, Taos, New Mexico, had become an important outpost of American art. Scores of east coast painters travelled there each summer, and their touring exhibitions opened the nation's eyes to the indigenous cultures and landscape of the south-west. But as Taos grew in fame and popularity, Santa Fe, the nearby state capital, withered.
The city's elders watched in dismay as charabancs of visitors, their pockets bulging with Yankee dollars, rattled through the dusty streets on their way north to Taos. Something had to be done. The city needed an exotic allure as powerful as Taos's for the Anglo foreigner .
They decided to impose a building code: all new structures should be designed in the Pueblo revival style modelled on the local Indian pueblos' use of wood beams and sun-baked adobe. It worked: Santa Fe, a city of adobe, started drawing its own "cultural tourists".
Art and adobe: how Santa Fe changed the US's artistic landscape
By Henry Shukman
- The Guardian, Friday 21 June 2013
Original photograph made on "the Square" in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Copyright 2013 Jon Burch Photography
October 21st, 2013
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