American Visionaries

American Visionaries: Dorothea Lange and Maynard Dixon
March 2, 2013 – May 26, 2013

This exhibition brings together, for the first time, photography by Dorothea Lange and drawings by Maynard Dixon, two artists who were married from 1920 to 1935, and whose work documents a fascinating era of American art. It was during these years that they witnessed and captured first-hand the struggles of the Great Depression.

Clouds and Mesa

Maynard Dixon, Clouds and Mesa, Arizona, 1932. Collection of Mark Sublette, Medicine Man Gallery, Tucson, AZ and Santa Fe, NM

Lange and Dixon met in San Francisco, where they were part of an art scene that included luminaries such as Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, and Imogen Cunningham. Their marriage in 1920 was notable for joining two artists and bohemians well known in their community. The reality was more complex. Lange and Dixon, both uncompromising artists, were often unhappy in their marriage. They divorced in 1935.

While personally challenging, the years of the Lange-Dixon marriage were artistically successful for both. Dixon had his most productive years, leaving his job as an illustrator for an ad agency to paint full-time. Lange spent the early years of the marriage balancing child care with her work as a portrait photographer, then shifted to documentary and street photography as the reality of the Great Depression took hold.

The focus of Dixon’s later art broadened to include the Forgotten Man, as one of his series was titled. These paintings depicted downtrodden figures that were reminiscent of many of the people in Dorothea Lange’s photographs. He also continued to receive commissions for large murals until his death in 1946.

Admission for this unique exhibition of photographs and original drawings is $5 for adults, $3 for students and seniors, and free for children 5 and under. Members of the Friends of the Museum always receive free admission.

Public Programs

Maynard Dixon, Earth Knower, Conte crayon on paper, 1931, Collection of Mark Sublette, Medicine Man Gallery, Tucson, AZ and Santa Fe, NM

Director’s Walkthrough

Tuesdays at noon, March 5 – May 21
Free with exhibit admission
Longmont Museum director Wesley Jessup, who has studied the work of Maynard Dixon extensively, provides informal tours of the exhibition every Tuesday.

Film: Longmont on Parade

Thursday, May 9, 7:00 pm
2nd showing at 8:00 pm 
Reservations needed, call 303-651-8374.
Admission $5
Viewed publicly for the first time in decades, this recently-restored 20 minute long film made in Longmont in the 1930s provides a fascinating glimpse of the people and businesses of Longmont. Curator of Research Erik Mason will provide background on Longmont in the 1930s.