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 Jose Cisneros  (1910 - 2009)

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Lived/Active: Texas      Known for: book illustration-western history, painting

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Jose Cisneros
An example of work by Jose Cisneros
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Jose Cisneros has been described as a leading historical illustrator of the Southwest. Although a painter, wood carver, writer and muralist, his primary focus was recording through his illustration the history of the Southwest border region.

Cisneros was born in Villa Ocampo, Mexico in 1910.  Here he received some schooling in El Valle de Allende before traveling to Ciudad Juarez in 1925.  Although largely self taught, Cisneros crossed the Rio Grande to attend the Lydia Patterson Institute in El Paso, Texas.  In the 1930s he began his illustration career while working odd jobs to support his family.  He introduced himself to Tom Lea, which led to his long-term collaboration with Carl Hertzog, the famous typographer, book designer, and publisher.

During the 1940s, Cisneros illustrated over 200 publications and books.  Among his many honors are the Americanism Award given to him by the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Order of Civil Merit given him by King Juan Carlos I of Spain in 1991.

Cisneros remained a resident of El Paso, Texas.

His exhibitions include, Far Southwest Artists Association; Woman's Club of El
Paso; Dallas Museum of Fine Arts; St. Mary's University, San Antonio, Texas; St. Edward's University, Austin, Texas; El Paso Museum of History; Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum and the U.S. State Department, Mexico City.

Source:
John and Deborah Powers, Texas Painters, Sculptors, and Graphic Artists


Biography from ARTexas:
Jose Cisneros was born in Villa Ocampo, Mexico, at the beginning of the Mexican Revolution.  In 1925 he came to El Paso to attend the Lydia Patterson Institute.  In 1937 he met Tom Lea, which lead to Cisneros’ long-term collaboration with Carl Hertzog, the famous publisher.

In the late 1940’s his passion for superior quality and historical accuracy led to the inclusion of his work in several prize-winning books.  He continued thereafter to produce an astonishing amount of work illustrating and decorating over two-hundred books including some authored by his friend J. Frank Dobie.

He became a citizen of the United States in 1948.

Among his numerous honors two perhaps are most fitting.  In 1979 the Daughters of the American Revolution bestowed upon him their Americanism Award and in 1991 king Joan Carlos I of Spain invested him with the title of knight of the Order of Civil Merit.


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