By Donna Tennant
Artists of Utah
By Robert S. Olpin, William C. Seifrit, and Vern G. Swanson
This coffee-table book details the many painters, sculptors, photographers, architects, and craftspeople who have inhabited Utah at one time or another. It is the latest installment from the three scholars who contributed to the original Dictionary of Utah Art (published in 1980), Utah Art (1991), and Utah Painting and Sculpture (1997). The book contains entries of varying length, organized alphabetically, for hundreds of living and deceased artists. “A book such as this must always be the study of a remarkable set of confluences in an absolutely haunting environment,” writes Olpin in the book’s introduction. “Utah is the coming together of peoples and individuals in a unique vastness that promotes both mystery and the creative impulse.”
1999 Gibbs Smith, Publisher, Layton, UT, 297 pages, 150 color illustrations, 50 black-and-white illustrations, $50 hardbound (ISBN
El Delirio: The Santa Fe World of Elizabeth White
By Gregor Stark and E. Catherine Rayne
El Delirio chronicles the life and times of Elizabeth White, an East Coast heiress who moved to Santa Fe, NM, in the 1920s. Like her contemporary, Mabel Dodge Luhan, White had an enormous impact on the cultural life of New Mexico. She was a founding member of the Santa Fe Indian Market and donated much of her personal collection to the Museum of International Folk Art. Her estate, El Delirio (The Madness), became a gathering place for influential artists, writers, and social reformers of the day. Today El Delirio is the home of the School of American Research, a center for advanced studies in anthropology and Native American art. The book was published by the school’s SAR Press and offers a unique glimpse into the history of New Mexico in the 1920s.
1999 SAR Press, Santa Fe, NM, 149 pages, 96 black-and-white illustrations, $19.95 softbound (ISBN 0-933452-52-7)
Santos: Enduring Images of Northern New Mexican Village Churches
By Marie Romero Cash
In the 18th century, Franciscan priests in what is now northern New Mexico commissioned local artisans to create decorative embellishments for the churches in the newly established missions. The work of these santeros, or saint-makers, is the subject of a new book by Marie Romero Cash. The author—herself a respected santero—traces the history of this art form from the mid-1700s to the late 1800s and also examines its resurgence in the 20th century. Through the eyes of the santero, she reveals how this art has served as a window to heaven and uncovers the subtle differences between the artists and their art. Cash offers a unique perspective on the religious significance of santos and identifies two previously nameless major santeros.
1999 University Press of Colorado, Niwot, CO, 296 pages, 221 black-and-white illustrations, 16-page color insert, $39.95 hardbound (ISBN 0-87081-494-X)
Featured in February 2000