Born: Magdeburg, Germany 1881
Died: Santa Fe, New Mexico 1971
Santa Fe painter of Indian figures and landscapes, woodblock printmaker, woodcarver, writer
Baumann was brought to Chicago with his family in 1891. He studied drawing and printmaking at the Kunstgewerbe Schule in Munich and then at the Art Institute of Chicago. Moving to Indiana, he designed, cut, and printed woodblocks illustrative of Indiana authors. Exhibiting nationally and in Paris, by 1915, he won the printmaking award at the San Francisco Expos.
After a few years of pampering his “wanderlust,” he settled in Santa Fe in 1918, one of the colony’s founders along with John Sloan, Randall Davey, and Fremont Ellis. Continuing as a rare worker in woodblock, he also painted in bright colors. His paintings were sometimes for fun, a Deer Dance showing the dancers as the animals and Pasa Tiempo as a kachina ceremony with dolls dancing. After 1931, he worked with the Marionette Theater, carving his own “little people.” Baumann wrote and illustrated “Frijoles Canyon Pictographs” selected as one of 50 books of the year 1940. His woodcuts were his own version of the sacred Indian pictographs of northern New Mexico. Baumann also carved church figures, saying, “If a man had to harp on one string, he’d go flat.”
Resource: SAMUELS’ Encyclopedia of ARTISTS of THE AMERICAN WEST,
Peggy and Harold Samuels, 1985, Castle Publishing