Frijoles Canyon, Second View

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Helmut Naumer, Sr.
1935 – 36

Naumer, a German born artist, immigrated to the U.S. in 1926 to experience the West. After six years at sea in the Merchant Marines, Naumer returned to his beloved Santa Fe. There, he began to work in pastels. As part of the Works Progress Administration Program (WPA), Naumer created a series of paintings showing scenes in Bandelier National Monument and nearby pueblos. He produced 14 pastels between 1935 and 1936 for the Park.

Although Naumer worked in oils and watercolors, pastels were his preferred medium. He felt that pastels allowed him to capture “the fleeting effects of the sky and water and our own New Mexico landscapes with fast changing colors sweeping rapidly across it, for there are hundreds of different colors and shades, so one loses no time in mixing colors as in oil.”

Here the artist depicts the base of the trail up to Long House, along Bandelier’s Main Loop Trail near the Visitor Center. Naumer used a black background that made his drawings glow and that highlighted the vivid colors of the local landscapes and sky.

Pastel on paper. H 48.7, L 33.5 cm
Bandelier National Monument, BAND 1406