Of the hundreds of foreign students who attended the Munich Art Academy between 1910 and 1915, Walter Ufer (1876–1936) and E. Martin Hennings (1886–1956) returned to the United States to foster the development of a national art. They ultimately established their reputations in the American Southwest. The two German American artists shared much in common, and both would gain membership in the celebrated Taos Society of Artists. Featuring nearly 150 color plates and historical photographs, A Place in the Sun is a long-overdue tribute to the lives, achievements, and artistic legacy of these two important artists.
In tracing the lifelong friendship and intersecting careers of Ufer and Hennings, the contributors to this volume explore the social and artistic implications of the artists’ German heritage and training. Following their training in Munich, both men hoped to build careers in the spirited art environment of Chicago. Both were sponsored by wealthy businessmen, many of German descent. The support of these patrons allowed Ufer and Hennings to travel to the American Southwest, where they—like so many other talented artists—fell under the spell of Taos and its picturesque scenery. They also encountered the region’s Native peoples and Hispanic culture that inspired many of their paintings. Despite their mutual interests, Ufer and Hennings were not identical by any means. Each artist had a distinct artistic style and, as the essays in this volume reveal, the two men could not have had more different personalities or career trajectories.
Connoisseurs of southwestern art have long admired the masterworks of Ufer and Hennings. By offering a rich sampling of their paintings alongside informative essays by noted art historians, A Place in the Sun ensures that their significant contributions to American art will be long remembered.
A Place in the Sun is published in cooperation with the Denver Art Museum.