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“Fall in Santa Fe”, a beautiful historic New Mexico

landscape painting by Gerald Cassidy, 1921

It’s fairly hard to believe that Gerald Cassidy (1869-1934) painted this lovely scene exactly 97 years ago in the fall of 1921 because it looked pretty much the same just this week when we walked by where he painted it a couple of times. Fall in Santa Fe is a completely glorious sight to behold and Cassidy captured it here beautifully, vividly and timelessly. The colors and paint in the picture are still so fresh and vibrant despite its being nearly a century old that it could have been painted just this past week.

Gerald Cassidy was one of the most distinguished and important members of the original old Santa Fe art colony along with William Penhallow Henderson, Will Shuster, Fremont Ellis, Josef Bakos, Willard Nash and others. He received his early training in Cincinnati, Ohio under the distinguished painter and art instructor Frank Duveneck who also taught noted Taos artists, Joseph Henry Sharp and Walter Ufer. Cassidy continued his studies at the famed Art Student’s League In New York City before moving west, first to Denver and subsequently to Santa Fe in 1912, for his health to recover from successive bouts of pneumonia and tuberculosis. Sadly, Cassidy’s career here was relatively short. He died in 1934 in a tragic accident from carbon monoxide poisoning when the gas heater in his studio malfunctioned. However, in his two-plus decades here, he left a highly distinguished artistic legacy including numerous important public murals and one of the very finest paintings in the New Mexico Art Museum in Santa Fe, the famous “Cui Bono.”

Gerald Cassidy’s former home and painting studio at 924 Canyon Road in Santa Fe

Part of the large WPA-Period Mural depicting the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadores in New Mexico by Gerald Cassidy at The Main Santa Fe Post Office.

Photo source and copyright: Wikipedia

This fine landscape painting is a classic Cassidy picture in every possible way; with its compelling and powerful composition, its lovely confident brushstrokes, beautiful paint surface and harmonious color palette in keeping with Cassidy’s well-deserved reputation as a superb colorist. The painting is done in oil on artist’s board and it measures 9” by 12” (sight). The framed dimensions are 15” by 17 1/2”. We have recently had the painting professionally cleaned by Revive Restoration here in Santa Fe and framed in a beautiful custom-made,

hand-carved 22K gold gilded frame by Goldleaf Framemakers of Santa Fe, Santa Fe’s premier fine art framers.

This lovely painting is a perfect artistic and historical document, so to speak, of a beautiful part of old Santa Fe, the very heart of the historic Southwest, much of which fortunately continues relatively unchanged to today. This particular view is looking up the arroyo towards the high peaks of the Sangre de Cristo mountains very near the old Sunmount Sanitorium where Gerald Cassidy stayed when he first moved to Santa Fe for his health. This location is just about a mile or so up from where Cassidy’s home and studio were eventually located at 924 Canyon Road. The painting also has a nice quirky piece of personal history attached having been originally traded by Cassidy to his Santa Fe dentist, John Sterling O’Hara, in exchange for some dental work. The painting is properly signed “Gerald Cassidy” with Cassidy’s customary Zia Pueblo sun symbol insignia at the lower right and it is also signed in pencil on the verso and is further inscribed with its dimensions “10 by 12” and also dated “1921” in the artist’s hand. The painting is in generally excellent original condition. The painting’s dimensions were originally 10” by 12”, but either Gerald Cassidy or its first owner altered it very slightly by 1/2” on both the top and the bottom possibly to be able to fit it into a frame.

This painting is a stately old Santa Fe gem, the painting and the place it was painting in still looking essentially the same as they did when Gerald Cassidy finished it nearly a century ago back in the fall of 1921.

It is at once an extremely attractive and charming piece of fine art, and, simultaneously, a marvelous piece of old Santa Fe and Southwestern history.

Price $12,500


The Artist

By trade to Gerald Cassidy’s dentist, John Sterling O’Hara

By Descent to Mr. O’Hara’s grandson

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