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Fremont Ellis
Velarde Valley (New Mexico)

circa 1940


Oil on raw silk mounted on canvas board. Housed in a custom hand-carved gold leaf frame. Outer dimensions measure 18 ¼ x 21 ½ x 1 ½ inches. Image size is 11 x 14 inches. Fremont Ellis grew up in the mining town of Virginia City, Montana. His interest in art was sparked during a childhood trip to New York when his family visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art. While at the museum, he viewed works by several artists including Albert Bierstadt. He began painting on his own at the age of thirteen and spent three months at the Art Students League in 1915, his only formal training. Instead of pursuing a career in art, Ellis then traveled to Los Angeles, California, where he studied optometry. By the age of twenty, living in El Paso, Texas, Ellis' shop had failed and he abandoned optometry to pursue painting full time. In 1919, Ellis visited Santa Fe, married, and decided to take up residence. He was unsuccessful at selling his paintings and relocated to California. However, the primarily self-taught artist soon returned to Santa Fe where he found work as a photographer and sign painter. In 1921, he founded one of Santa Fe's earliest artist groups, "Los Cinco Pintores," with Josef Bakos, Walter Mruk, Will Shuster, and Willard Nash. The group established an artists' colony with the studios they built on the Camino Del Monte Sol. The avante-garde group, of which Ellis is said to have been the most conservative member, exhibited together until they disbanded in 1926. Ellis continued to live and paint in the area for almost sixty years. Exhibited: Society of Independent Artists, 1920; California Art Club, 1921; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1922 (solo), 1924 (Henry E. Huntington Award); Oakland Art Gallery, 1950 (prize), 1953 (medal); Springville Museum, UT (purchase prize). Works Held: University of California, Los Angeles; Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe; Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History, Tulsa, OK; El Paso Museum, TX; Art Institute, Lubbock, TX. Further Reading: Art in New Mexico, 1900-1945: Paths to Taos and Santa Fe, Charles C. Eldredge, Julie Schimmel & William H. Truettner, published by Abbeville Press, New York for the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., 1986.; Artists in California, 1786-1940, Edan Milton Hughes, Hughes Publishing, San Francisco, 1986.; Artists of the Canyons and Caminos: Santa Fe, the Early Years, Edna Roberston and Sarah Nestor, Gibbs M. Smith, Inc, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1982.; Artists of 20th-Century New Mexico: the Museum of Fine Arts Collection, Museum of New Mexico Press for the Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, 1992.; The Illustrated Biographical Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West, Peggy and Harold Samuels, Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1976.; Picturesque Images from Taos and Santa Fe, Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado, 1974.; Who Was Who in American Art 1564-1975: 400 Years of Artists in America, Vol. 1. Peter Hastings Falk, Georgia Kuchen and Veronica Roessler, eds.,Sound View Press, Madison, Connecticut, 1999. 3 Vols. ©David Cook Galleries, LLC


  • Movement & Style
  • Condition
    Excellent. excellent.
  • Dimensions

    H 18.25 in. x W 21.5 in. x D 1.5 in.

    H 46.36 cm x W 54.61 cm x D 3.81 cm

  • Gallery location
    Denver, CO
  • Reference number
  • Seller reference number
    DCG 14598

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