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A Place of Refuge: Maynard Dixon's Arizona

Smith, Thomas Brent and Hagerty, Donald J.

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ISBN 10: 0911611363 / ISBN 13: 9780911611366
Published by Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson AZ, 2010
New Condition: New Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: A Place of Refuge: Maynard Dixon's Arizona

Publisher: Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson AZ

Publication Date: 2010

Binding: Cloth Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

About this title

Synopsis:

Western painter Maynard Dixon once pronounced “Arizona” “the magic name of a land bright and mysterious, of sun and sand, of tragedy and stark endeavor.” “So long had I dreamed of it,” he professed, “that when I came there it was not strange to me. Its sun was my sun; its ground was my ground.” The California-born Dixon (1875–1946) first traveled to Arizona in 1900 to absorb what he believed was a vanishing West. Dixon found Arizona a visually inspiring and spiritual place that shaped the course of his paintings and ultimately defined him. A Place of Refuge: Maynard Dixon’s Arizona is the first exhibition to focus solely on the renowned painter’s depictions of Arizona subjects.

As early as 1903 Dixon referred to Arizona as home. Although he spent most of his life in San Francisco, Dixon lamented to friends that he longed for Arizona and the solitude of the desert, and he frequently traversed the land’s varied expanses. In 1939 he made Tucson his winter home and spent his remaining years painting his beloved desert landscape. In the confluence of Arizona’s natural and cultural landscapes, Dixon would become one of the West’s most distinctive painters, creating a body of work that established his place among the vanguard of artists who portrayed western subjects.

Thomas Brent Smith explores Dixon’s remarkable departure from traditional depictions of human conflict in the “Old West” rendered by such predecessors as Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell, and Charles Schreyvogel. Smith’s essay describes this shift in artistic ideology and analyzes the tranquil images that emerged on Dixon’s canvases. Donald J. Hagerty’s biographical essay highlights Dixon’s travels and his affinity for the people and landscape of Arizona.

About the Author:

Thomas Brent Smith, Curator of Western American Art and Director of the Petrie Institute of Western American Art at the Denver Art Museum, is author of A Place of Refuge: Maynard Dixon’s Arizona.

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