NM Artist Profiles – Gustave Baumann

NM Artist Profiles – Gustave Baumann

There’s no shortage of natural beauty to explore here in Santa Fe and in the neighboring Pecos Wilderness. But our region has much more to offer than just natural beauty, and we highly recommend exploring Santa Fe’s art museums while you are here, particularly the work of artists who lived and worked here. One such artist, Gustave Baumann, lived in Santa Fe for more than 50 years and became widely known and appreciated for his work in color woodblock prints.

Baumann was born in Germany, and his family emigrated to the U.S. in 1891 when he was ten years old. He studied engraving at the Art Institute of Chicago and eventually moved to New Mexico. He originally came for the art community in Taos, but he found it too crowded and social. On his way out of Taos, his train stopped in Santa Fe where the curator of the newly created New Mexico Museum of Art persuaded him to stay.

During his time in Santa Fe, Baumann became a well-known artist. He created oil paintings, sculptures and hand-crafted wood marionettes. He continued his early work with engraving and print making, and that was always what he was most known for. Baumann is considered one of the key leaders of the American color woodcut revival, an art technique that involves carving an image into the surface of a block of wood and then using it to make a print.


Baumann’s prints depict many of his favorite places in New Mexico. His work features desert landscapes and the regional traditions that inspired him, including scenes of Pueblo life, Native American Indian petroglyphs and lush private gardens. Many of Baumann’s works are on display in the permanent collection of the New Mexico Museum of Art, located just off the plaza in Santa Fe.

There are many ways to explore Santa Fe’s history and arts community. The excellent New Mexico Museum of Art and many other notable museums and galleries are a short walk from the Inn on the Alameda.

To learn more about all that Santa Fe has to offer, or for help planning your trip to Santa Fe, visit our website.

To learn more about all that Santa Fe has to offer, or for help planning your trip to Santa Fe

New Mexico History – Palace of the Governors

New Mexico History – Palace of the Governors

No trip to Santa Fe would be complete without a visit to the city’s famed historic Plaza, and we highly recommend making the historic Palace of the Governors part of your visit. The Spanish government built the Palace of the Governors in 1610 as the main government building for the territory, which included most of the Southwestern United States at that time. This coincided with the founding of Santa Fe, which makes it the oldest capital city in the country.

The Palace of the Governors has been used by various governments for hundreds of years, and is the oldest continuously occupied public building in the country. Today, the building is a National Historic Landmark and a designated national treasure. It houses the New Mexico History Museum and sits at the hub of modern Santa Fe life.


On any given day, visitors may find cultural events, live music and art shows in the Santa Fe Plaza. One of the plaza’s greatest attractions is the Native American artisans who sell jewelry in the colonnade out in front of the Palace of the Governors daily. 

This is widely considered one of the best places to purchase Native American jewelry because you can find a genuine piece at a fair price.

Once inside the Palace of the Governors, you’ll find objects and artifacts of New Mexico and Santa Fe’s history. As you explore the museum’s collection, you will see ancient arrowheads, the armor of colonial soldiers and family artifacts from the earliest Spanish settlers. The museum offers free self-guided and docent-led tours as well as seasonal walking tours of the area for $10.

If you’re exploring the area on your own, you’ll find many boutiques, restaurants, art galleries and even more history to explore. Santa Fe’s Plaza and the Palace of the Governors are a short walk from the Inn on the Alameda, and the Palace itself is a great way to spend part of a day in Santa Fe.


We hope this has piqued your interest in Santa Fe’s colorful history.

To learn more about all that Santa Fe has to offer, or for help planning your trip to Santa Fe

Oh, Georgia!

Oh, Georgia!


Miles and miles of blue sky, towering mesas, native plants, and the rocky desert landscape instantly inspired American painter Georgia O’Keefe when she first visited Abiquiu in the late 1920s. She came back time and again, and eventually moved to the area in 1949, where she lived until her death in 1986.

Abiquiu’s stark landscape, indigenous art, and unique adobe architecture prompted O’Keeffe to take her artwork in a new direction. She shifted from New York City cityscapes to the flowers, bones, natural landscapes, and colorful shapes of northern New Mexico. She referred to this imagery as “the wideness and wonder of the world as I live in it.”

The beautiful, unique landscapes that inspired O’Keeffe’s world-renowned pieces of art can only be found in New Mexico, and you can come see the inspiration in person. The majestic, red-rock formations and rich history of the area will inspire you to take out your easel and paint your own masterpiece.

About an hour drive from Santa Fe, the Abiquiu village bridges the past and the present. Georgia O’Keeffe’s iconic home and studio in the village is open seasonally from March to November for public tours with advance reservations. O’Keeffe purchased the home in 1945, and visitors can see how she lived and worked, and how her lifestyle inspired her art.

And, while you’re in Santa Fe, don’t forget to stop by the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, featuring a vast permanent collection of her work and changing exhibitions of her work and work by her contemporaries.

But Georgia isn’t the only artist to call Abiquiu home. The Abiquiu Art Project features other artists who are living and working in the Abiquiu area. Teresa Toole has created this project to offer private or small group tours year-round to visit the private studios of 4 of Abiquiu’s most internationally known artists, offering you a feel for both this special area of New Mexico and also the art and artists that choose to call this area home.

Inspired to find your own inner artist? You can schedule an art lesson during your stay here at the Inn! We are a proud sponsor of local artist Lisa Flynn’s Inner Artist Workshop. Ask us about this local workshop.

How the West Was Fed: A Tale of Fred Harvey and His Girls


Fred Harvey

Will Rogers described Fred Harvey as the man that “kept the West in food…and wives.” Fred Harvey pioneered many of the innovative approaches to food service, hospitality, and of the Southwest style in both jewelry and architecture.

Fred Harvey Lunchroom, Santa Fe Hotel - Canadian, TX

Fred Harvey Lunchroom, Santa Fe Hotel – Canadia, TX


Scene from The Harvey Girls Film

As a young freight broker, Fred was appalled at the lack of any coordinated approach, inconsistency of service and food quality available to rail passengers. Partnering with the country’s biggest railroad company, the AT & SF, Fred Harvey began first building restaurants and then hotels along the RR route from Chicago to Los Angeles, bringing at the time “ New York and London” quality food to the West. The greatest challenge was to serve excellent meals that could be enjoyed in 20 minutes or less – the allocated time for dining stops.

Fred Harvey’s commitment to excellence and a standard of quality and service set the tone for the changes the Railroad would bring to this new and growing part of our country. The opening of the Raton, NM pass to rail traffic in 1879, heralded the beginning of the end of the Old Santa Fe Trail, and this new mode of transportation, stretching all the way to the Pacific, required the creation of the first chain of restaurants, and then hotels. Standardization, so necessary then, later sadly grew into rampant American led, world-wide “white bread” commercialism. But then, understandably, everything had to be done the “Fred Harvey way,” which assured excellence and predictability to the diners heading west. This was how Fred Harvey fed the West.

The Harvey Girls, Starring Judy Garland

The Harvey Girls, Starring Judy Garland

And how to keep the restaurant service consistent? Fred Harvey created a service army of honest, skilled, educated and attractive women – quickly dubbed “The Harvey Girls,” and from the 1880s until the end of the 1940s, the Harvey Girls totaled 20,000 young ladies spread out along the Western railroad stops. Here were the brides-to-be for the ranchers, merchants and entrepreneurs that grew this country. And to assure a definitive style and architectural excellence, Fred Harvey brilliantly employed the great architect Mary Coulter to design his beautiful hotels…from Las Vegas, NM to Santa Fe, to Albuquerque and on past the Grand Canyon. Mary Coulter is credited with creating what would become the world recognized “Santa Fe Style.” And finally, from simple counter sales in Gallup, NM, Fred Harvey brought together the Indian jewelers with their one-of-a-kind handicrafts, potters and weavers – orchestrating and coordinating their efforts into a look that became, like everything else Fred Harvey, a distinctive style that would lead the way for the future successful refinement and commercialization of Southwestern arts and crafts that we know so well today.

Judy Garland, The Harvey Girls

Judy Garland, The Harvey Girls

So, within a score of years, what began as an idea brought on by Fred Harvey’s distaste of bland and inconsistent railroad fare, turned into the first chain of restaurants, hotels and gift shops in the West. Today, “Fredheads” keep his legacy alive, honoring a man whose vision literally changed the West for the better in everything he touched.

Presently, the New Mexico History Museum has a “must see” show on display commemorating the great visionary and his Harvey Girls. And if you wish to delve more into this historical time, watch The Harvey Girls, a 1946 musical film starring Judy Garland about the opening of a “Harvey House” at a remote whistle stop to provide good food and company to railway travelers.

Continuing the tradition of excellent gourmet fare and the high service standards that Fred Harvey began, the Agoyo Lounge and the accommodations of the Inn on the Alameda, are an enduring salute to this nostalgic time.


Inn on the Alameda, That Enchanting Small Hotel in Old Santa Fe, proudly presents all historical blog posts written by Joe & Michael Schepps. Read about the authors here.



Canby (Left); Sibley (Right) - sourced from The Library of Congress

Canby (Left); Sibley (Right) – sourced from The Library of Congress

Sibley reached Santa Fe on March 13, 1862 (having set out from Texas on February 23, but not before the Union had destroyed the town’s supplies).  The Confederate’s New Mexico campaign that was meant to rely on speed and captured provisions was finding itself bogged down and low on supplies.

Sibley and his forces were now caught between Canby in the south and fresh Union reinforcements to the north.

Taking the offensive, Sibley went out from Santa Fe to attack the Union forces in a fierce battle. Unfortunately for Old Dixie, the Confederates had left behind their remaining military provisions for safekeeping.

Alvin Jewett Johnson's map of Texas and a portion of NM at the height of the Civil War

Alvin Jewett Johnson’s map of Texas and a portion of NM at the height of the Civil War

Following a small skirmish on March 26, both sides waited for reinforcements to arrive and they joined in battle once again on the 28th.  Fierce fighting and aggressive maneuvering led the Confederate forces to advance further than expected.  The Confederates took the Union positions in heavy fighting.  Thankfully for the Yankees, a New Mexican scout by the name of Anastasio Duran led a small force of scouts behind Confederate lines. While the larger battle was taking place, Duran discovered the Confederate supply train. Returning to the Union lines with the news, US troops led by Duran, attacked the Rebel supply train.

It was this attack that turned the tide of battle. 

The supplies were captured with little resistance.  Eighty wagons, loaded with provisions and ammunition with which the Rebels still intended to fuel their campaign, were looted then sent ablaze.  The auxiliary artillery was spiked and over 500 of the Confederate horses and mules were either killed or driven off.  Alerted by the smoke of the burning wagon train, the Confederates were forced to return to Santa Fe. The loss of these supplies and material would prove devastating to the Confederates.  Sibley pulled the remaining troops back to Albuquerque, in the hopes of reinforcements arriving from Texas.

Image of Glorieta Pass taken in 1990 by a National Park Service employee

Image of Glorieta Pass taken in 1990 by a National Park Service employee

By mid-April the Union forces had begun to converge and Sibley decided to retreat.

Confederate control of the northern part of New Mexico had lasted a mere two months.  Union soldiers were dispatched throughout the New Mexico territory and the New Mexico Campaign and the Confederate attempt on the West came to an end. A simple accounting of the Battle of Glorieta Pass belies its importance in the American Civil War.  By closing the door to the West and halting the Confederate advance, The United States was able to concentrate on the war in the South and East, while the rich resources of the Western Territories helped bankroll the delayed, yet successful victory 3 years later.

Many civil war elements remain in Santa Fe today.  The New Mexico History Museum is a few minutes’ walk from the Inn and provides many resources to assist in understanding the campaign.  Glorieta Pass is only 40 minutes from the Inn along a scenic drive, and the battlefield includes an interpretative center as well as a bounty of historical information. 


Joe’s Blog: Kite Flying Styles, The American Science and the Japanese Artistic

Insect Kite from Museum of New MexicoMost of us think of Benjamin Franklin when we think of the first kites. His famous experiment in 1752 “discovered” electricity by capturing negative charges from static electricity passing overhead while he flew a kite with a metal key attached. Mr. Franklin was one of our country’s greatest minds, creating everything from the first public library and volunteer fire department, to drafting the original constitution of the United States. But like many Western minds, his proficiency was foremost in the sciences, so when he thought kite, he thought scientific experiment.

The Japanese, however, thought art and beauty as well when they thought kites, and the current exhibit at the Museum of International Folk Art Museum here in Santa Fe  traces the exquisite history of kite making in Japan. The Inn on the Alameda is delighted to offer a special 3-night package in partnership with the Museum in honor of this exhibit.

It is believed that the kite was originally introduced to Japan by Chinese Buddhist Monks in the 7th and 8th Century AD. These kites were used in celebrations of giving thanks and other spiritual expressions. One can imagine the excitement among the early Japanese who saw for the first time elaborately colored creations that soared seemingly effortlessly in the wind.

Tsugaru Style Kite from Museum of New Mexico in Santa Fe 2In the 10th Century AD, the characters for “Kami Tobi” first appear in written Japanese history, and these translate into paper hawk – which leads us to speculate that either the first kites looked like or certainly sailed through the air like birds of prey.  While primarily a decorative and visual experience, kites soon were adapted in Japan as construction tools, used to raise loads of roof tiles high aloft to the workers at the many beautiful shrines and temples. It is recorded that one of the largest kites had a wingspan of 75 feet.

By the 12th century, reports emerge of kites carrying people, one such incident resulting in the violent death at the hands of the authorities of a thief who used a large kite to steal the golden scales of an ornamental dolphin high atop the Castle of Nagoya. Another story tells of an exiled Warrior named Minamotot-no-Tametomo  who constructed a large kite to use the winds to carry him and his son back to the mainland.

However, the greatest period of advancement in the design and decoration of Japanese kites occurred in the Edon period from 1603 until 1867, a time when Japan closed its doors to all outside influences. This isolation created an opportunity for Japan to perfect its own interpretation of the kite, when there were created over 130 different regional styles, representing various colorful folkloric, mythological and spiritual themes. The kites were made with light-weight bamboo or cypress woods and covered in hand made papers brightly colored with natural dies and figures defined by black ink.

Today, many festivals celebrate the kite in Japan. On the 5th day of the 5th month,  ( Boy’s Day ), kites are flown throughout the country , as well as for various festivals, the New Year and public holidays. Some kites have the face of the devil to ward off evil spirits. The kite festival known as Hamamatsu, where kite teams do battle in the skies, is viewed by as many as 2,000,000 spectators. Kites are also flown at times of birth, with various good luck symbols purporting good wishes and desired traits to the newborn in a family. These include the carp, the crane and the tortoise.

Tsugaru Style Kite from Museum of New Mexico in Santa FeTherefore, it would seem impossible to not sail over to Museum Hill here in Santa Fe to experience this unique and special exhibit of Japanese kites currently on display at the Museum of International Folk Art. This unique and stunning show lasts through July 2014 and is not to be missed. In addition to our special Tako Kichi package offering, the Inn on the Alameda provides a courtesy shuttle service to the Folk Art Museum for our guests.  We are the closest hotel to both Canyon Road and Museum Hill where the following incredible museums are to be found just up the road: Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian; Museum of Indian Arts and Culture; Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, Museum of International Folk Art. Also, if time allows, be sure and visit the new Santa Fe Botanical Garden, also located at Museum Hill.

In closing I wanted to share some of my own memories of kite flying as a kid on blustery spring days in North Texas, watching my simple store bought wood and paper kite ascending with roll after roll of twine into the warm and windy skies of Dallas.  I certainly never envisioned for a second the images of Chinese Buddhists or Japanese artisans raising high the kites of the Far East; however, I believe I shared that same mysterious magic moment when the tiny spec of my kite disappeared into the clouds following a break of the twine when I could imagine my kite ascending all the way to the heavens like a hawk set free.

From all of us at the Inn on the Alameda, “Go fly a kite!”


Joe Schepps