Dec 022016
 
Where to buy "Mexican Kaleidoscope: myths, mysteries and mystique"

Mexican Kaleidoscope: myths, mysteries and mystique, by Tony Burton, with thirty original pen and ink illustrations by Enrique Velázquez, is available in both print and e-book editions from all major online retailers (prices in US$): Print edition from CreateSpace (our preference) – $19.99 Print edition on Amazon.com – $19.99 E-book edition for Kindle – $7.42 […]

Aug 172017
 
Writer and publisher Michael Hargraves was a frequent visitor to Lake Chapala in the 1970s and 1980s

Michael Hargraves is a writer of screenplays, literary surveys, bibliographies and literary criticism. He was a frequent visitor to Lake Chapala in the 1970s and 1980s, usually staying for two or three months at a time. He is included in this on-going series of profiles because in 1992, he self-published a 48-page booklet entitled Lake […]

Aug 142017
 
Clark Hulings (1922-2011) and his evocative paintings of Chapala

Clark Hulings, an acclaimed American realist painter, visited Mexico on numerous occasions. The precise timing of his visit or visits to Lake Chapala remains unclear, but in 1975 he completed the painting Chapala Fruit Vendor (below). He also painted several other works related to Lake Chapala and Ajijic. The dates of his visits are uncertain […]

Aug 102017
 
Artist and writer Allyn Hunt has lived in Jocotepec since the 1960s

Artist and writer Allyn Hunt has lived in the Lake Chapala area since the mid-1960s. Hunt was the owner and editor for many years of the weekly English-language newspaper, the Guadalajara Reporter. His weekly columns for the newspaper quickly became legendary. (Hunt’s wife, Beverly, also worked at the Guadalajara Reporter and later ran a real […]

Aug 072017
 
Marcella Crump, a photographer who documented Ajijic life in the 1950s and 1960s

At the request of a family member, we have removed our original profile of Marcella Crump (ca 1926-2017) and replaced it with this summary version. Crump was a photographer who was  active in Ajijic in the late 1950s and early 1960s and whose story is similar in some ways to that of Beverly Johnson who […]

Aug 032017
 
Best-selling novelist Barbara Bickmore: Ajijic's very own Cinderella

American novelist Barbara Bickmore was born in Freeport, New York, on 10 June 1927 and died in Anacortes, Washington, on 23 February 2015 at the age of 87. She lived and wrote in Ajijic from 1990 to 1997 and often described these seven years in later interviews as the happiest years of her life. Bickmore […]

Jul 312017
 
Gerry Pierce painted several watercolors in Ajijic in the mid-1940s.

Watercolorist, etcher and illustrator Elbridge Gerry Peirce Jr., more usually known simply as Gerry Peirce, was born in Jamestown, New York on 3 June 1900 and died in Tucson, Arizona, on 16 March 1969. Peirce visited Ajijic in the mid-1940s, and may have been there more than once since he is known to have made […]

Jul 272017
 
In 1948, anthropologist George Barker witnessed Chapala's Christmas Play

Dr. George Carpenter Barker (1912-1958) was an anthropologist, author, editor and translator. What makes Barker a worthy inclusion in our series of mini-biographies of artists and authors associated with Lake Chapala is his editing and translation of a performance of a nativity play or pastorela in the village churchyard that he saw on Christmas morning […]

Jul 242017
 
Architect Jean Taylor Strange lived more than forty years in Chapala

Architect Jean Taylor Strange moved to Chapala with her husband William Strange in January 1965 (having bought a house in Chapala Haciendas in December 1964) and resided there for more than forty years. Besides the fact that she worked with her husband on researching his radio documentaries about Mexico for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), […]

Jul 202017
 
Oakley Hall worked at Lake Chapala on his third novel in 1952

Novelist Oakley Hall was a professor of English at the University of California, Irvine, and directed its creative writing program. Hall and his wife Barbara Edinger Hall, a photographer, lived at Lake Chapala for about six months in 1952, during which time, according to Michael Hargraves in A literary Survey of Lake Chapala, Hall was […]

Jul 172017
 
Sculptor and print-maker James Steg spent the summer of 1958 in Ajijic

Painter, sculptor and print-maker James Steg, who was Professor of Art at Newcomb College, Tulane University, in New Orleans for more than forty years, worked in Ajijic during the summer of 1958. James Louis Steg (“Jim”) was born in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1922 and died in New Orleans in 2001. He gained his M.A. degree […]

Jul 132017
 
Former CBC war correspondent Captain Bill Strange produced radio documentaries in Chapala

Captain H. E. William (“Bill”) Strange OBE was Director of Naval Information in the Canadian Navy before “retiring” to Mexico with his wife, Jean, in January 1965 (having bought a house in Chapala Haciendas in December 1964) . He then proceeded to research, write and produce several radio documentaries about Mexico for the Canadian Broadcasting […]

Jul 102017
 
David Sinclair Nixon, Ezra Pound and Ajijic

In Dust on my Heart (1946) Neill James relates several stories about “David Nixon, a New Orleans artist, and his wife June”, who were apparently seriously considering buying property at Lake Chapala until they were informed about various acts of violence that had been perpetrated there. The Nixons never did buy property in Ajijic and […]

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Jul 062017
 
Abraham Lincoln, Rixford Lincoln, and a poem about Lake Chapala

Wow! Lake Chapala connected to Abraham Lincoln? Well, yes, albeit in a somewhat tenuous, roundabout way that I will now attempt to explain. The key character in this story is Rixford Joseph Lincoln, who was born into a prominent New Orleans family on 22 August 1872. His father, Lemuel L. Lincoln, had been a Major […]

Jul 032017
 
Frieda Hauswirth Das (1886-1974) painted in Ajijic in the mid-1940s

Frieda Mathilda Hauswirth, also known after her second marriage as Frieda Mathilda Das, was an accomplished painter, writer, and illustrator, who is perhaps best remembered today for having painted one of the earliest portraits of Mahatma Gandhi. Hauswirth visited Mexico from August 1944 to early in 1946. While it is unclear if this was her […]

Jun 292017
 
Happy Canada Day! Canadian artists and authors associated with Lake Chapala

Canada celebrates its 150th birthday this year. In honor of Canada Day, here is a list of those Canadian artists and authors who have connections to Lake Chapala and who have already been profiled on this blog. Enjoy! Henry Sandham (1842-1910), a well-known Canadian illustrator of the time, illustrated Charles Embree‘s historical novel, A Dream […]

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Jun 262017
 
Description of Ajijic and its church in 1946

In a previous post, we offered an outline biography of Canadian writer Ross Parmenter, who first visited Mexico in 1946 and subsequently wrote several books related to Mexico. One of these book, Stages in a Journey (1983), includes accounts of two trips from Chapala to Ajijic – the first by car, the second by boat […]

Jun 222017
 
Musician and painter George Abend visited Ajijic in the mid-1950s

George Abend (1922-1976), a jazz musician and prominent figure in the San Francisco Bay Area abstract expressionism movement, studied in Guadalajara in the mid-1950s, at which time he was a frequent visitor to Ajijic. Born in New York City in 1922, Abend studied at the University of California, Berkeley (1946-47); the 1948–1950 California School of […]

Jun 192017
 
Salvador Escudero and his 1910 poem about Lake Chapala

Poet and politician Salvador Escudero was born in the south of Jalisco, at San Gabriel, on 22 April 1883 and died in Mexico City in January 1946. Escudero was a much-published poet and prime mover in the Jalisco intellectual circles of his time. As a young man, Escudero was the boyfriend of Jalisco-born model and […]

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Jun 122017
 
Rubén M. Campos: Lake Chapala in 1899

As we saw in previous posts, Rubén M. Campos, though now largely forgotten, was one of the major figures in Mexican literature in the first half of the twentieth century. Campos spent several vacations at Lake Chapala and made good use of his knowledge of the area’s history and geography in his acclaimed novel Claudio […]

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