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 Albert Herman Schmidt  (1885 - 1957)

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Lived/Active: New Mexico/Illinois      Known for: modernist-leaning landscape and still life painting

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Ad Code: 3
Albert Herman Schmidt
from Auction House Records.
Tesuque Indian
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Albert Herman Schmidt was a founding member of the Santa Fe, New Mexico Art Colony.  Although he painted portraits, he was primarily known for his landscapes inspired by his awe of the expanse of Northern New Mexico.

He was a pupil of Charles Francis Browne at the Art Institute of Chicago and then studied at the Julian Academy in Paris, the pupil of Henri Martin.  He settled permanently in Santa Fe in 1921 and applied his academic training to Southwestern subjects. Many of his Indian portraits were done in formal, traditional style.

He was very quiet and unassuming and did not actively seek exhibitions for himself, preferring to paint for personal pleasure.

Sources:
Peter Hastings Falk, Editor, Who Was Who in American Art
Peggy and Harold Samuels, The Illustrated Biographical Dictionary of Artists of the American West

Biography from Mark Sublette Medicine Man Gallery Santa FeTucson:
Albert Schmidt was an early member of the Santa Fe art colony, best known for his high-key modernist landscapes.

Schmidt was born in Chicago, the son of a physician. He attended the Art Institute of Chicago for four years before enrolling at the Julian Academy in Paris. In 1912 he married fellow student and Chicagoan, Marjorie Hanson, and the couple returned to Chicago the following year.

Schmidt exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1911, the National Academy of Design in 1914, and the Panama-Pacific Exposition in 1915.

In 1921 Schmidt visited the Southwest and was so impressed with Santa Fe that he resolved to move there. The next year, the couple arrived in New Mexico, settling in the village of Tesuque, just north of Santa Fe. They asked Santa Fe artist and builder, William Penhallow Henderson, to design and construct their home.

Schmidt's early paintings are in the manner of the French Impressionists, but he soon developed a modernist style with simplified, sometimes angular drawing, and a bright palette clearly influenced by the Fauves with whom he worked in Paris. He painted mostly in oil or pastel. Schmidt's compositions employed the concepts of Dynamic Symmetry, developed by the artist Jay Hambidge, which use a proportioning system based on specific mathematical ratios including the Golden Section.

The Schmidts apparently were able to live on Marjorie's inheritance, and Albert did not feel compelled to actively market his work. However, he did participate in many exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Art in Santa Fe from 1924 until his death, including twelve solo exhibitions. The Museum held a memorial exhibition for Schmidt in 1958. After Marjorie's death in 1992, her granddaughter inherited the estate and discovered a cache of hundreds of Schmidt's works in the garage of the Tesuque home.

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