Nisha Rathode

Emil Bisttram

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Name  Emil Bisttram

Role  Artist
Emil Bisttram Transcendental Taos Los Angeles County Museum on Fire
Died  February 26, 1976, Taos, New Mexico, United States
Education  Art Students League of New York
Artwork  Projection No. 3 (Eye in the Sky)
Awards  Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts, US & Canada

Emil Bisttram (1895–1976) was an American artist who lived in New York and Taos, New Mexico, and was known for his modernist work.


Life and works

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Bisttram was born in Hungary, near the Romanian border, in 1895. When he was 11 years old, his family immigrated to New York City. Emil grew up in the tenement buildings that had become the destination for so many Eastern European immigrant families. He was a talented artist, and after a few years began his schooling at the National Academy of Art and Design, then Cooper Union, Parsons, and The Art Student's League. He began teaching soon after completing school, first at the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts, and then at the Master Institute of the Roerich Museum.

Emil Bisttram Emil Bisttram

Bisttram first visited Taos in the summer of 1930. He later fell in love with the scenery and moved there. In 1931 he won a Guggenheim Fellowship to study mural painting. The fellowship enabled Bisttram to travel to Mexico where he studied mural painting with the world famous muralist Diego Rivera. Numerous mural commissions were to follow throughout his career (the Department of Justice in Washington D.C., The Taos County Courthouse, New Mexico, and the Federal Courthouse in Roswell, New Mexico.) After returning to Taos in 1932, Bistrram started the Heptagon Gallery and the Taos School of Art. In 1938, Bisttram founded the Transcendental Painting Group with Raymond Jonson and several other Santa Fe artists.

Emil Bisttram L39Oiseau Dans l39Espace Emil Bisttram

In 1952, Bisttram co-founded the Taos Art Association, and later in 1959 won the Grand Prize for painting at the New Mexico State Fair.

Emil Bisttram Emil Bisttram Fine Art 12 For Sale at 1stdibs

In 1970, Emil Bisttram served as a judge and monitor for a statewide arts grant competition for art to be placed in the newly constructed County Courthouse building, designed by architect Bill Menningbach of Taos. Ken Drew, a local sculptor, won the competition. Bisttram oversaw the project for the next two years, and in June 1972 Drew completed the installation. Then-Senator Joseph Montoya and other dignitaries from Santa Fe officiated at the dedication ceremonies. In 1975, his birthday, April 7, was declared "Emil Bisttram Day," a New Mexico state holiday.

Public Collections

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His work can be found in the following public collections:

  • New Mexico Museum of Art
  • Albuquerque Museum
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Phoenix Art Museum
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art - Utah State University
  • References

    Emil Bisttram Wikipedia

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