In the Galleries

Tom Lea and Contemporaries

Tom Lea, Rio Grande, 1954. Oil on canvas, 22 ¼ x 32 in. El Paso Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert W. Decherd in honor of Isabelle Thomason Decherd and H. Ben Decherd, 1996.10.1

Carl Hertzog, Two Artists in Two Mediums (Tom Lea and Urbici Soler), 1946. Image from the archives Southwest Review, Winter, 1947.

Tom Lea and Contemporaries
September 4, 2024 - January 26, 2025

Tom Lea Gallery

Tom Lea (b. 1907, El Paso) was one of the most prolific Southwest artists of the twentieth century. Following his studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Lea painted numerous public murals throughout the United States. He served as an artist correspondent for LIFE magazine during World War II and later illustrated and wrote the best-selling novel The King Ranch, about the legendary South Texas ranch. Lea devoted his career to documenting the landscape, history, and people of his native Southwest.

Tom Lea and Contemporaries features landscapes, portraits, and mural studies. The exhibition uniquely highlights correspondence between artists to tell the story of a tightly-knit creative community, which made El Paso a central point for rich cultural exchange. Artists include Manuel Acosta, Lois Denton, Freemont Ellis, Leola Freeman, Carl Hertzog, Peter Hurd, Tom Lea, Ada Miller, Audley Dean Nicols, Urbici Soler, and Henriette Wyeth.

This exhibition includes objects from EPMA and El Paso Museum of History collections. Support for this exhibition is provided by the El Paso Museum of Art Foundation and the City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department.

To learn more about the Tom Lea Trail click here!

Tom Lea and Contemporaries
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