biography of Raymond JONSON (1891-1982)

Birth place: Chariton, IA

Death place: Albuquerque, NM

Addresses: Chicago, IL, 1910-24; Santa Fe, NM, 1924-49; Albuquerque, 1949-73; Santa Fe, 1976

Profession: Painter, teacher, art administrator

Studied: W.J. Reynolds; Portland (OR) Mus. Art School, 1909-10; Chicago Acad. FA, 1910-12; Portland Art Mus (OR); Chicago Acad. FA; AIC with B.J. O.Nordfeldt

Exhibited: Delphic Studios, NYC; Katharine Kuh Gal., Chicago, late 1930s; Howard Putzel Gal., Hollywood, CA, late 1930s; Swedish Club (prize), Chicago, 1921; New Mexico State Fair, 1940 (prize), 1941 (prize), 1945 (prize); AIC, 1913-15, 1917-23, 1947; Minneapolis IA; CAM; GGE, 1939 (with Transcendental Painters Group); Milwaukee AI; Salons of Am., 1930; CM, Critics Choice, Cincinnati Art Mus., 1945; Roerich Mus.; Mus. New Mexico, several times (solo); "Abstract and Surrealist American Art," AIC, 1947-48; Int. Graphik, Salzburg & Vienna, Austria, 1952; "Golden Years of Am. Drawing," Brooklyn Mus., 1957; "Cubism: Its Impact in the USA," Albuquerque, San Antonio, San Fran., Los Angeles, 1967. Other awards: Laureate, Delta Phi Delta, 1946; hon. fellow, School Am. Res., 1956; Dr. Humane Letters, Univ. New Mexico, 1971.

Member: MacDowell Colony, NH (1919); Cor Ardens group, Chicago (with Nicholas Roerich); Am. Found.; Transcendental Painting Group, Taos, New Mexico (founder)

Work: NMAA; Rose Art Mus., Brandeis Univ., Waltham, MA; William Rockhill Nelson Gal. Art, Kansas City, MO; Houston (TX) Mus. FA; Dallas (TX) Mus. FA; Cincinnati (OH) Art Mus.; Gilcrease Found., Tulsa, OK; Vanderpoel Coll.; Mississippi AA; Jonson Retrospective Coll. of 545 works, Univ. New Mexico; Mus. New Mexico; Los Angeles County MA; MoMA. Commissions: six mural panels, "A Cycle of Science," Univ. New Mexico, 1934; murals, Art & Science, Eastern New Mexico Univ., Portales, 1936.

Comments: Co-founder and leader (with Emil Bisttram) of the Transcendental Painting Group in Taos, NM (1938-41). While living in Chicago he served as art director of the Chicago Little Theatre, creating innovative stage-designs that showed the influence of Bauhaus principles. During the 1920s, he began painting in an abstract style. Preferred media: acrylic polymer, oil, watercolor, casein tempera, pencil. Teaching: Chicago Acad FA, 1918-21; Univ. New Mexico, 1934-54.

Sources: WW73; WW47; Chas Morris (auth.), "Search for a Life of Significance," Tomorrow I, No. 2, 1941; Ben Wolf (auth.), Raymond Jonson, "New Mexico Artists," 1952; Ed Garman (author), "The Art of Raymond Jonson," El Palacio 1963, No."s 5 & 6, 1956. Ness & Orwig, Iowa Artists of the First Hundred Years, 116-117; P&H Samuels, 256; Eldredge, et al., Art in New Mexico, 1900-1945, 199; Diamond, Thirty-Five American Modernists p.42