Dec 072015
 
D. H. Lawrence found inspiration in 1923 at Lake Chapala

English novelist, poet and essayist David Herbert Lawrence (1885-1930) was 37 years of age in summer 1923 when he spent three months in Chapala writing the first draft of the work that eventually became The Plumed Serpent (1926). Early years Lawrence was born in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, England, on 11 September 1885, and died in France […]

Dec 032015
 
Gladys Brown Ficke (1890-1973), painter and illustrator

Gladys Brown Ficke (1890-1973), the second wife of poet and novelist Arthur Davison Ficke (1883-1945) was a painter (oils and watercolors) and illustrator. The Fickes spent the winter of 1934-35 in Chapala. From late November 1934 to late April 1935, they rented a house with poet Witter Bynner and his partner Robert Hunt. Under her […]

Nov 262015
 
Artist Tom Brudenell reflects on his time in Jocotepec, 1967-1970

Following an initial conversation some months ago about his time in Jocotepec, Tom Brudenell, who lived in Jocotepec from 1967 to 1970, reviewed his notes and journals from that time, together with later drawings, paintings, and murals, to consider how Mexico has influenced his later work. The following extracts offer fascinating insights into the mind, […]

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Nov 232015
 
Flying ace, novelist and raconteur Elliot Chess (ca 1898-1962)

Author, playwright and flying ace Elliot William Chess was in his late-forties when he spent several months in Ajijic at the small hotel Casa Heuer in 1946, but had already experienced far more than most people can manage in twice as many years. Born in El Paso, Texas, at the turn of the century, Chess […]

Nov 192015
 
Kai Gøtzsche (1886-1963) paid a brief visit to Chapala with D. H. Lawrence in 1923

Kai Guldbrandsen Gøtzsche (1886-1963) was born in Aarhus, Denmark, on 6 May 1886 and studied painting at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen from 1908 to 1912. He first arrived in the U.S. in 1921. In 1922-23, he became part of the circle of artists and writers that revolved around fellow Danish painter […]

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Nov 162015
 
"Mrs. Morton of Mexico": Chapala-based novel by Arthur Davison Ficke

Poet and novelist Arthur Davison Ficke (1883-1945) and his second wife Gladys, an artist, spent the winter of 1934-35 in Chapala. From late November 1934 to late April 1935, they rented a house with fellow poet Witter Bynner and his partner Robert Hunt. Ficke subsequently penned a novel, Mrs Morton of Mexico, set at the […]

Nov 122015
 
Emil Holzhauer (1887-1986) painted Ajijic and Chapala in the 1960s

Emil Eugen Holzhauer (1887-1986) was a renowned German-American painter and teacher of art who died a few days shy of his 100th birthday. His primary mediums were watercolor, oil, and casein (a fast-drying, water-soluble medium derived from a milk protein). The details of his visits to Lake Chapala are scanty. His painting “Ajijic, Mexico” (dated […]

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Nov 092015
 
Arthur Davison Ficke (1883-1945) and his 1939 novel about Chapala

Poet and novelist Arthur Davison Ficke (1883-1945) and his second wife Gladys, an artist, spent the winter of 1934-35 in Chapala. From late November 1934 to late April 1935, they rented a house with fellow poet Witter Bynner and his partner Robert Hunt. Ficke subsequently wrote a novel, Mrs Morton of Mexico, set at the […]

Nov 052015
 
Ajijic Art Mystery: Who painted these works from 1949/1950?

We’ve received a request for help with identifying the artist who painted these interesting pictures dating from about 1950. The paintings were bought in Ajijic direct from the artist at that time by the father of Ann Hithersay who lives in the U.K. The pictures are painted on paper. It is not clear what medium […]

Nov 022015
 
Willard Marsh's "Week with No Friday", a novel set at Lake Chapala

Week With No Friday by Willard Marsh is one of only a handful of novels to have been set entirely at Lake Chapala. Published in 1965 by Harper & Row, it tells the story of a troubled expatriate playwright who lives in Ajijic in the 1950s. The dust jacket of the hardcover edition (274 pages) […]

Oct 262015
 
Willard "Butch" Marsh (1922-1970) and his novel about 1950s Ajijic

Willard Marsh, known to his friends as “Butch”, was one of the pivotal figures in the Ajijic literary scene in the 1950s and 1960s, and one of the first to write a novel set in the village. His novel, Week with No Friday (1965), is the story of a troubled expatriate playwright who lives in […]

Oct 222015
 
Help wanted: Does anyone know the whereabouts of this Sylvia Fein painting?

Sylvia Fein, one of America’s foremost surrealist painters, lived and worked in Ajijic from 1943 to 1946. She would love to learn the present whereabouts of one of her favorite paintings from that time. Painted in Ajijic in about 1945, the painting shows three ladies chasing idols (see image). The model for all three ladies […]

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Oct 192015
 
Photographer and photojournalist Horace Bristol (1908-1997)

Famous American photographer and photojournalist Horace Bristol lived in Ajijic from 1967 to 1976. Born in Whittier, California, on 16 November 1908, Bristol studied architecture at the Art Center of Los Angeles, before moving to San Francisco in 1933 to work as a commercial photographer. By chance, Ansel Adams lived near Bristol’s studio and the […]

Oct 142015
 
Rare opportunity: Southeby's to auction several Sylvia Fein paintings

Sylvia Fein, one of America’s top female surrealist painters, lived and painted in Ajijic from 1943-1946, and has fond memories of her time there. Now in her nineties, and living in California, she still paints every day, and says she will never run out of ideas or inspiration. Sylvia Fein, one of America’s foremost surrealists, lived […]

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Oct 122015
 
Rodney Gallop: the cost of serenading a loved one in Ajijic in the 1930s

In about 1937, English author Rodney Alexander Gallop (1901-1948) visited Ajijic, where he met two fellow Englishmen, Nigel Stansbury Millet and Peter Lilley, the dynamic duo who wrote under the pen name Dane Chandos. Shortly before his death, Gallop reviewed Dane Chandos’ Village in the Sun for The Spectator. In the review, he recalled visiting […]

Oct 082015
 
Alfred Rogoway (1900–1990) painted in Ajijic in the 1950s

American artist Alfred Rogoway (1900–1990) was born in Portland, Oregon, on 4 April 1900. His father was a playwright and mother an artist. Rogaway lived most of each year in Ajijic in the 1950s. While still only a teenager, Rogoway served with the U.S. Navy (1916-1920). His ship was torpedoed and Rogoway was lucky to […]

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Oct 052015
 
Owen Wallace Gillpatrick (1862-1925): "The Man Who Likes Mexico"

Owen Wallace Gillpatrick (1862-1925) was an American author and playwright who spent a short time in the Chapala area in about 1899, several years prior to publishing his book The Man who likes Mexico (1911). The book includes an atmospheric photo of moonlight shining on Lake Chapala. The title of his book, The Man who […]

Oct 012015
 
The pioneering sculptor "Shaw" lived in Jocotepec in the late 1960s

The full name of the pioneering painter and sculptor “Shaw”, who lived in Jocotepec from 1967 to the mid-1970s, is Donald Edward Shaw. Shaw was born in Boston, Massachusetts, 24 August 1934, and passed away in New Mexico on 26 December 2015. He always preferred to be known in the art world by his surname […]

Sep 282015
 
Dudley Kuzell (1896-1969) and the Guardsmen quartet

Dudley Francis Kuzell, husband of Betty Kuzell, was a baritone in the well-known The Guardsmen quartet. The Kuzells lived at Lake Chapala for many years, from the early 1950s. Kuzell (sometimes Kuzelle) was born in Cleveland, Ohio on 21 June 1896 and died in Guadalajara on 14 May 1969. He was a track athlete at […]