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03 March 2020Art and Life in Santa Fe, New Mexico

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Art and Life in Santa Fe, New Mexico James Russell Tuesday 03 March 2020

This colourful lecture is based on two decades’ personal experience of a unique art colony. Nowhere else in the USA have Native American, Spanish and Anglo cultures grown side by side as they have here, and this diversity, along with the glorious light of the high desert, has attracted artists since the early days of the railroad. The history of this still-thriving colony is rich, strange and full of remarkable characters, including British visitors like DH Lawrence and famous American artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe. Having spent five years selling art on the city’s Canyon Road – think Bond Street with cowboy hats – I can offer an intimate picture of Santa Fe: it’s inspiring, funny and occasionally scandalous. 


Having studied History at Pembroke College, Cambridge, James Russell enjoyed a lengthy stint selling contemporary paintings and sculpture in Santa Fe, New Mexico, an experience that inspired him to begin writing and lecturing on 20th century art. Of his dozen or so books, one was a Sunday Times book of the year, while his writing has been described by critics as 'insightful', 'informative' and 'enjoyably readable'. The curator of two major exhibitions at Dulwich Picture Gallery, James has lectured across Britain and beyond. He prefers to lecture without notes, drawing on wide-ranging original research, and on in-depth knowledge of the subjects that fascinate him. 

Image: Georgia O'Keeffe Museum