Gallery Artists > Carlos Vierra Biography :

Carlos Vierra (1876 - 1937)  Artworks >>

Known as the founder of the art colony in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Carlos Vierra was an early traveler throughout the West and was the first professional Caucasian artist to make Santa Fe his home. He is credited with the preservation of the city's unique atmosphere because of his insuring that the old style of pueblo architecture and historic landmarks were maintained. Vierra was the son of a Portuguese sailor and was born and raised in Moss Landing, California near Monterey. He studied art in San Francisco at the Mark Hopkins Institute and with Gottardo Piazzoni, and determined to go to New York for further study, boarded an old wooden ship that sailed around Cape Horn. The trip took six months, and he struggled to survive financially in New York, but finally achieved success as a cartoonist and marine painter. Just when he was beginning to feel secure about his future, he developed serious lung problems, and at the advice of his doctor, went to Santa Fe where he opened a photography studio on the Plaza. He regained his health, was successful at marketing photographs, worked at his painting, and pressured to keep the architectural integrity of the city. With Edgar Hewitt, Director, he was involved in restoring the Palace of the Governors, and he excelled at mural work, completing scenes of St. Francis with Kenneth Chapman for the new museum murals begun by Donald Beauregard. Vierra's murals of Mayan cities are in the California Building in Balboa Park, San Diego. He also was so skillful at target shooting that he served as an instructor with the National Guard, and in 1916, was a Captain of the Guard during border skirmishes with the Villistas. "Very few people know that Vierra was also a pioneer in aerial photography; in fact, he flew over and photographed Chaco Canyon shortly before Charles Lindberg made his own photographc flight over the same area." (Robertson, 27) Reference:

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