Maynard Dixon country can be found in all of Maynard Dixon's paintings, watercolors and drawings Maynard Dixon's vivid portrayal of the West shows that the West was indeed Maynard Dixon Country. Maynard Dixon paintings, including his small field sketches, may number as many as 1,200 and this site has just some of the wonderful images that Maynard Dixon painted during his nearly forty year career. Maynard Dixon's original log lists 767 oil paintings.
Maynard Dixon kept a list of most of his paintings starting in November of 1915 and continued until his death in November 1946. This log contains all of Maynard Dixon's most important work. This log is the basis for Maynard Dixon's known work, but currently through the help of Dr. Mark Sublette, the Maynard Dixon Catalogue Raisonne is underway to locate and document all of Maynard Dixon's paintings. Dr. Mark Sublette, of Medicine Man Gallery in both Tucson and Santa Fe, is an expert on Maynard Dixon's life and artwork.
A free evaluation by Dr. Sublette of any possible Maynard Dixon Paintings for inclusion in the Maynard Dixon Catalogue Raisonne can be done by visiting www.maynarddixon.org.
Maynard Dixon Old Patio, New Mexico c. 1931
Courtesy Maynard Dixon Museum Tucson Arizona
The time Maynard Dixon spent in New Mexico from September 1931 through January 1932 was a happy, contented time for Dixon. Living with wife Dorothea Lange, and children John and Dan, in a house provided by his dear friend Mabel Dodge Luhan, Maynard Dixon completed some of his most productive, and inspired paintings. During the five-month stay, Maynard Dixon was very prolific, painting more than forty canvases of all sizes. Many of these paintings told a story about the interaction between the land and its people. At that time, Northern New Mexico was the heart of a thriving art community.
When Maynard Dixon first visited Arizona, at the turn of the 20th century, it was wild, open territory, inhabited primarily by Hispanics and Native Americans. In 1902, he made his first visit to Lorenzo Hubbell’s Ganado trading post, and came away with wonderful sketches he would use as inspiration for many years to come. Viewing these works, one can imagine the awe Maynard Dixon felt in the raw beauty of the landscape and its inhabitants. He would return to Arizona many times, ultimately making Tucson his final home.
The Arizona paintings represent the entire gamut of painting styles Maynard Dixon utilized during his productive career. Heavy impasto and bold colors are typical of his work in the teens. Many of these canvases depict real places and people that Dixon experienced between 1914, and 1916. By the twenties, Maynard Dixon expanded his technique, experimenting with both post-Impressionism, and Cubism. Surrounded by the landscape and people of Southern Arizona in the final years of his life, Maynard Dixon created works with a sparing use of paint and subdued color scheme. Paintings utilizing Maynard Dixon’s powerful command of light and shadow are often considered quintessential Dixon works.
Although Maynard Dixon called California home for most of his life, this state was inspiration for only a fraction of the work he produced. Many California paintings were done around his boyhood home of Refuge in the San Joaquin Valley; although many of these works look as if they could have been painted anywhere in the Southwest. Like the majority of Maynard Dixon’s work, the California paintings primarily depict remote, desert landscapes.
Nevada could have easily claimed Maynard Dixon as one of it’s own. If not for the cool weather and high altitude of Carson City, Maynard Dixon might well have spent his last years there instead of Tucson. Many of his strongest canvases resulted from the places he visited in Nevada during the 1920’s and 30’s. One of his favorite and frequent subjects were the trees that prominently dotted this Southwestern terrain. In addition, some of Maynard Dixon’s finest desert landscapes stem from his time in Nevada.
Utah was a favorite place of Maynard Dixon’s; he loved the light and found the Mormon people gracious and kind. In a Christmas card to his good friend Joe, Maynard Dixon wrote, "Many times I wanted to write you, but struggle for health takes a lot out of me. Big news is we are going to quit Calif. & build us a log house in Utah, far from any large town. Mormons are simple honest farming people. We like them. Beautiful country, but cold in winter. Don’t know if we can make a living there, but take a gamblers chance.
The people Maynard Dixon depicted in his paintings reflect the cultural mix of the American West of the early 20th century. Maynard Dixon was delighted to live among all the peoples of the region, and his portrayals of the Hispanic, Native American, and Anglo inhabitants are without comparison. Maynard Dixon also used the human form to allude to more ethereal subjects. Some of his most poignant and gripping works were the handful of Great Depression-era paintings done in 1934 and 1935. Maynard Dixon’s wife, famed photographer Dorothea Lange, was devoted to chronicling the plight of the migrant workers and the San Francisco maritime worker’s strike. Her involvement undoubtedly influenced Maynard Dixon’s choice of this atypical subject matter. The images of expressionless men done in somber grays and blues show skillful use of light and shadow to accentuate the distress in the subjects he portrayed.
Collectors may wish to visit www.medicinemangallery.com to view available works by Maynard Dixon.
All content, images, and intellectual property on this site protected by digital watermark technology. Digital copying of images strictly prohibited; violators will be pursued and prosecuted to the full extent of the law including the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Permission to reproduce photos and paintings in this online catalog secured by J. Mark Sublette. All rights reserved. No portion of this online catalog may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from J. Mark Sublette, Medicine Man Gallery, Inc.
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