November 11, 2023, through April 21, 2024

Fowler Gallery

Grey Wood Block for El Velorio (The Wake), 1927 Basswood. Gift of the Ann Baumann Trust, 2020. (2020.12.4.2, 2020.13 c)

Gustave Baumann was a master craftsperson who performed every step of the printmaking process himself—from carving the wood blocks to mixing the inks and pulling the prints. This exhibition focuses on Baumann’s El Velorio (The Wake) (1927), featuring works from the Museum’s collection: the graphite and pastel sketches of his initial idea, the carved wood blocks from which the completed woodcut was printed, and individual color proofs. Together, these elements demonstrate the way in which the image was built and how a complex woodcut is developed. Unique variants of El Velorio, also on view in this exhibition, reveal how color selection can modify the emotional resonance of the work.

German-born Baumann immigrated to the United States as a child, settling in Chicago with his family. When he moved to the Southwest in 1918 he was fascinated with the mix of Anglo, Hispanic, and Native cultures. The subject of this hushed, reverent print is spiritual practice in the region.


Image at top: Gustave Baumann (American, 1881-1971), El Velorio (The Wake), 1927, woodcut. Purchase: Gift of Paul K. Kania, 2019. (2019.15)