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Printmaker, painter. While still a young boy, Baumann emigrated with his family from Magdeburg, Germany, to Chicago. He returned to Germany to study at Kunstgewerbeschule in Munich and later attended the Art Institute of Chicago. After moving to Santa Fe in 1918, he became a leading member of the art community, respected for services he performed on behalf of his colleagues and for his experiments in a wide variety of media. Baumann was appointed area coordinator of the Public Works of Art Project of the Works Progress Administration beginning in the early 1930s. During this time, he also carved and decorated a large number of marionettes, with which he and his wife and other artists toured the state, acting out Hispanic and Indian folk stories. In 1939, he published Frijoles Canyon Pictographs, illustrated with woodblock prints of prehistoric Indian designs and figures carved in the canyon walls. Later he incorporated such anthropological imagery into his art.
References (Smithsonian American Art Museum)
Baumann, Gustave. "At Work on Taos and Rio Pictures." El Palacio 6 (January 1919): 47.
Cassidy, Ina Sizer. "Art and Artists of New Mexico." New Mexico Magazine 10 (October 19320: 24.
Garoffolo, Vincent. "The Woodblock art of Gustave Baumann." In New Mexico Artists, New Mexico Artist Series No. 3, pp. 35–44. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1952.
Charles Eldredge, Julie Schimmel, and William H. Truettner Art in New Mexico, 1900–1945: Paths to Taos and Santa Fe (Washington, DC: National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 1986)