Will Schuster, 40th Anniversary, n.d. New Mexico Museum of Art, 4011.23p.
In 1920 serious health issues brought William Shuster to New Mexico, kicking off 49 years of creativity, exploration, and engagement. Almost immediately he integrated himself into Santa Fe’s burgeoning bohemian art scene, and made a reputation for himself as eccentric and passionate member of the community with an unsurpassed lust for life. Shuster embraced the unique beauty of New Mexico from Carlsbad Caverns, to Canyoncito and the Badlands. The artwork he left behind illustrates the rich culture of the state that gave him a new lease on life.
This exhibition celebrates the centennial anniversary of Shuster’s arrival in the Southwest. It highlights the artistic legacy he developed here in Santa Fe and elsewhere throughout the state and forefronts the significant artistic relationships he forged here. In addition to exhibiting the artwork that Shuster produced in New Mexico, it will look at his time as a member of Los Cinco Pintors, an early group of young Santa Fe painters devoted to “taking art to the people.” The show explores his relationship with prominent American realist painter John Sloan and his collaboration with Gustave Baumann to conceive of the now iconic Santa Fe boogeyman, Zozobra.