Gallery Artists > Warren E. Rollins Biography :

Warren E. Rollins (1861 - 1962)  Artworks >>

For many years Warren Eliphalet Rollins was known as the "Dean of the Santa Fe art colony." He was the first artist to have a formal exhibition there; it was held in 1906 in the old Palace of the Governors. He was a close friend of Carlos Vierra, Gerald Cassidy, Kenneth Chapman, Sheldon Parsons and most of the other famous artists who assembled in the New Mexican capital during the first half of this century. Born in Carson City, Nevada, Rollins was raised in California and attended the San Francisco School of Design where he studied under Virgil Williams. At the completion of his studies, he was awarded the Avery Gold Medal and made Assistant Director of the school. Following his marriage in 1887, he and his wife settled in San Diego, and it was during this period that Rollins became interested in the Indian as subject matter. In search of material, Rollins, his wife, and their two daughters, Ramona and Ruth, traveled through every Western state from the Mexican to the Canadian borders. While in Montana, Rollins painted a portrait of Calamity Jane. The sitting took place in a saloon, and while Rollins drew, Calamity drank, wept and poured out the story of her life to him. The portrait was lost in a fire at The Billings Club. In the early 1900s, Rollins spent a year in Arizona painting the Hopi, Navajo and Zuni Indians; these studies became very popular. His constant search for new subject matter took him to Taos, where he had a studio near his friend Irving Couse; to Chaco Canyon in northwestern New Mexico, sketching and painting its ancient ruins; and to the Grand Canyon where he had a studio near El Tovar. His dramatic Canyon painting was purchased by the Santa Fe Railroad. Rollins was the first president of the Santa Fe Art Club, and active in the Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe, which has an extensive collection of his work, including "Grief," one of his most famous paintings. He did murals for the Museum, the post office and Harvey House in Gallup, and triptychs depicting Zuni life for Bishop's Lodge, Santa Fe. His "Mayflower Series," done in Crayo-tone, a medium he developed and used almost exclusively in later years, was widely exhibited on the East Coast. Warren E. Rollins continued painting well into his nineties and died at the age of one hundred years and five months in Winslow, Arizona. Source

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