Aug 242015
George Ryga (1932-1987): playwright and novelist

The Canadian playwright and novelist George Ryga (1932-1987), who also wrote poems and song lyrics, lived and wrote during part of the 1980s in the village of San Antonio Tlayacapan, mid-way between Chapala and Ajijic. Ryga was born in the tiny Ukrainian community of Deep Creek, Alberta, on 27 July 1932. He died in Summerland, […]

Aug 202015
Alice Jean Small, possibly the most prolific painter ever to have lived at Lake Chapala

Alice Jean Small (1918-2009) lived for at least four years at Lake Chapala, from 1962 to 1966. During her lifetime, she is reputed to have sold more than 6000 works, making her a likely candidate for the title of “most prolific painter ever to have lived at Lake Chapala”. Small was born in Sandpoint, Idaho, […]

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Aug 172015

While most sources list José Rafael Rubio as having been born in 1880 and dying in 1916, the available documentary evidence suggests that he was actually born on 4 September 1879 in Zamora, Michoacán, and died in San Antonio, Texas, on 7 January 1917. Rubio worked for a time as a journalist in Guadalajara and […]

Aug 142015
Mexican artist Ernesto Butterlin (ca 1918-1964), aka Linares

Ernesto Butterlin, aka Linares, sometimes Ernesto Linares, or, more simply, Lin, was a Mexican artist active in the 1940s and 1950s. Ernesto’s parents and his two older brothers were all born in Germany and moved to Mexico in 1907, sailing first class aboard the “Fürst Bismarck” of the Hamburg-America line, from Hamburg to Veracruz. The […]

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Aug 102015
The Honorable Selina Maud Pauncefote (1862-1919): Chapala in 1900

The Honorable (Selina) Maud Pauncefote (1862-1919) was the author of what is believed to be the earliest English-language travel article dedicated exclusively to the town of Chapala. Entitled “Chapala the Beautiful”, it was published in Harper’s Bazar in December 1900. The article includes what may well be the first published photographs of the village of […]

Aug 062015

Sadly, we currently know relatively little about the artist John Thompson, who lived in Jocotepec during the 1960s and 1970s, and considered himself a painter of the Miro school. He was a close friend of two long-time Jocotepec residents: photographer John Frost and his wife, the author Joan Van Every Frost. Thompson also knew Tom […]

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Aug 032015
Archaeologist Clement Woodward Meighan (1925-1997)

Clement Woodward Meighan (1925-1997) was an archaeologist who undertook field research in southern California, Baja California and western Mexico. His main link to the Chapala area is that he was the lead author (with Leonard J. Foote as co-author) of the monograph, Excavations at Tizapán el Alto, Jalisco (University of California Los Angeles, 1968). Tizapán […]

Jul 302015
John Macarthur (“Jack”) Bateman (1918-1999): artist, author and architect

John Macarthur (“Jack”) Bateman was a painter, author and architect who was born on 9 October 1918 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and died on 15 March 1999. Bateman moved to Ajijic with his wife Laura Woodruff Bateman and three young children in 1952; the couple quickly became pillars of the local community, making exemplary contributions to […]

Jul 272015
George Carpenter Barker  (1912-1958), editor and translator

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 copy of a manuscript found in Chapala in 1948 after a performance of a nativity play on […]

Jul 232015
Photographer Jack Weatherington (1933-2008)

Professional photographer Jack Weatherington, born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on 12 October 1933, moved to Ajijic in 1988 and resided there, continuing to take magnificent photographs, until his death in Guadalajara on 20 Feb 2008. Soon after relocating to Ajijic, he became fascinated with Mexican masks, “especially the hauntingly beautiful, and sometimes simply haunting centuries-old masks […]

Jul 202015

María de Jesús Magallón Pérez (1924–1957) was one of the seven poets included in De Esta Tierra Nuestra; Antología Poética (Colección Sahuayo No. I, 1972). Besides being an award-winning poet, she was a social activist and the founder of a piano school, a writing school and the “Diego José Abad” Literary Circle. Born in Jiquilpan […]

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Jul 162015
Leonie Trager, sculptor

Sculptor Leonie Trager, presumed to be Austrian, lived and worked in the Lake Chapala area in the early 1970s. Her solo exhibition in the Galería del Lago, Ajijic, in 1973, when she was living in Chula Vista (mid-way between Ajijic and Chapala). The catalog for that exhibition includes a brief biography stating that she had […]

Jul 132015
Mexico by Motorcycle: An Adventure Story and Guide, by William B. Kaliher

Sombrero Books is delighted to announce the publication of  Mexico by Motorcycle: An Adventure Story and Guide. Author William B. Kaliher is widely published and a regular contributor to Mexico Today. He has been traveling Mexico’s highways and byways since 1964. A born storyteller, he holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology from the University of […]

Jul 092015
Phyllis Porter Rauch, artist, writer and translator

Phyllis (Porter) Rauch, born 28 October 1938, is an American artist, writer and translator who has lived in Jocotepec for more than thirty years. Her husband was the internationally-acclaimed artist Georg Rauch (1924-2006). The couple lived in Guadalajara from 1967 to 1970, before moving to Laguna Beach, California for six years. They returned to Mexico […]

Jul 062015
Peter Everwine, poet and Nahuatl translator

Peter Everwine (born in Detroit, 14 February 1930) is an American poet who spent a sabbatical year in Mexico in 1968-1969. While living in the Lake Chapala area, Everwine (who had traveled previously in Mexico) became friends with (Don) Shaw and Tom Brudenell, both then living in Jocotepec. Of all Everwine’s poems, the one most […]

Jul 022015
Hung in the U.S. Supreme Court: two Lily Cushing paintings of Lake Chapala! Who knew?

Lily Dulany Cushing was born in Newport, Rhode Island, on 13 January 1909 and passed away on 21 September 1969 in Fishers Island, New York. She was married three times, but throughout her artistic career appears to have signed most paintings “L.C”. Her first, brief, marriage in 1929 was to George Crawford Clark Jr. After […]

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Jun 292015
Smith Kirkpatrick (1922-2008): novelist and acclaimed educator

Novelist and acclaimed creative writing instructor Smith Kirkpatrick spent several summers in Ajijic, with his wife Barbara, in the early 1960s and at one point was apparently working on a novel set in the village. The novel was never published. Kirkpatrick was born near Paris, Arkansas, on 28 November 1922, and passed away in Gainesville, […]