Gustave Baumann

1881 – 1971
Functions, Occupations, and Activities
>Painter, printmaker, puppet-maker
German American
"I often wonder where the artist would be but for the prodding encouragement of a few optimistic souls who not only believe in him but in all humanity as well. Apparently unaware of any human frailty they may meet in their path, they never stumble but complete their destined cycle with unshaken optimism and, as we say, leave the world a better place to live in." [Retrieved on 1/3/2018 from]
Riley, James Whitcomb (1912). All the Year Round. Bobbs Merrill Co. Includes twelve color woodcuts by Baumann.;Chips an' Shavings (1929), text and illustrations;Frijoles Canyon Pictographs, text and illustrations
Gustave Baumann was born in Magdeburg, Germany, and moved to the United States in 1891 with his family. By age 17 he was working for an engraving house while attending night classes at the Art Institute of Chicago. He returned to Germany in 1904 to attend the Kunstgewerbeschule in Munich where he studied wood carving and learned the techniques of wood block prints. After returning to the U.S. he began producing color woodcuts as early as 1908, earning his living as a graphic artist...He spent time in Brown County, Indiana as a member of the Brown County Art Colony, developing his printmaking technique. He followed the traditional European method of color relief printing using oil-based inks and printing his blocks on a large press. This contrasted with the trend at the time of many American artists to employ hand rubbed woodblock prints in the Japanese traditional style. By this time he had developed his personal artist's seal: the opened palm of a hand on a heart. His Mill Pond is the largest color woodcut produced at the time. These were shown at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition where Baumann won the gold medal for color woodcut. In 1918, he headed to the Southwest to inquire into the artists' colony of Taos, New Mexico. Thinking it too crowded and too social, he boarded the train which stopped in Santa Fe. Its art museum had opened the previous year and its curator, Paul Water, persuaded Baumann to stay in Santa Fe...In Santa Fe, Baumann became known as a master of woodcuts and marionette-making, also producing oils and sculpture. His work depicted southwestern landscapes, ancient Indian petroglyphs, scenes of Pueblo life, and gardens and orchards. [Retrieved on 1/3/2018 from] [I]n 1926, he constructed the first effigy of Zozobra from designs by Will Shuster in celebration of Santa Fe's annual Fiesta. In honor of his great talent and dedication, he was elected an associate of the Taos Society of Artists and was a founding member of both the Society of New Mexico Painters and the Santa Fe Art Club. [Retrieved on 1/3/2018 from]
Geographic names
Santa Fe
Related people/organizations
Will Shuster (worked with)
Walter Ufer (influenced by)
Victor Higgins (influenced by)
E. Boyd (worked with)