Sep 292016
American poet Clayton Eshleman's formative summer at Lake Chapala

Poet and translator Clayton Eshleman has repeatedly stressed in interviews the significance of a summer stay in Chapala in 1960 in determining his future direction and success. In addition to his own original works, Eshleman is especially well known for his translations of Peruvian poet César Vallejo and for his studies of Paleolithic cave paintings. […]

Sep 262016
Psychoanalyst Karen Horney wrote at Lake Chapala in 1945

German-American psychoanalyst Karen Horney (1885-1952) worked on a book during her stay of several weeks in Ajijic in 1945. Horney lived in New York and the local Guadalajara newspaper El Informador (27 August 1945) reported that she was visiting Ajijic in order to complete the manuscript of her next book. Surrealist painter Sylvia Fein, who […]

Sep 222016
Lothar and Ann Wuerslin lived and worked in Ajijic in the late 1950s

Lothar Wuerslin and his wife, Ann, lived in Ajijic in the late 1950s, from 1956 to about 1959. They stayed until their savings ran out and then returned to New York. Their time at Lake Chapala changed their lives in more ways than one. First, their eldest son, Christopher (who late in his life became […]

Sep 192016
Eduardo A Gibbon described Chapala in the 1890s

Eduardo A. Gibbon y Cárdenas, born in about 1849, was a 19th century Mexican art critic, journalist, writer and diplomat. In the 1870s, he made various contributions to El Artista, a Mexico City-based  “monthly review of literature, science and the aesthetical arts.” After the magazine ceased publication (due to lack of financial support) Gibbon resuscitated […]

Sep 152016
Master lithographer Bill Gentes lived and worked at Lake Chapala for decades

Artist William (“Bill”) Gentes (1917-2000), who specialized in lithographs and linocuts, lived and worked at Lake Chapala for thirty years. William George Gentes was born in Brooklyn, New York on 21 June 1917 and died in Chapala on 26 July 2000. Gentes graduated from Hobart College in 1938 and then studied at the Art Students […]

Sep 122016
Golden Obsession, a novel by Georgia Cogswell (aka George Rae Marsh)

In an earlier post, we looked at the somewhat adventurous life of actress, playwright and novelist George Rae Marsh (Williams), aka Georgia Cogswell (1925-1997), who lived for many years in Ajijic in the 1950s and 1960s with her first husband, the accomplished novelist Willard Marsh. Two years after her husband’s death in 1970, George Rae […]

Sep 082016
The musical Campbell family settled in Chapala in the early 1950s

The Lake Chapala Auditorium (Auditorio de la Ribera), now celebrating its 40th anniversary, was originally scheduled to be formally opened on 25 September 1976 with a piano concert by Manuel Delaflor from Mexico City, who had just played at New York’s Carnegie Hall. In Ajijic, Delaflor was to play a Baldwin grand piano that had […]

Sep 052016
The Lake Chapala Auditorium celebrates its 40th anniversary this month (or does it?)

In this brief departure from our on-going series about artists and authors associated with Lake Chapala we introduce a family that had a special musical connection to the Lake Chapala Auditorium (Auditorio de la Ribera) in La Floresta, Ajijic, which had its first gala concert scheduled for forty years ago this month. The Lake Chapala […]

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Sep 022016
Mexican Kaleidoscope: myths, mysteries and mystique - Kindle edition now out

Sombrero Books is pleased to announce that the Kindle ebook version of Mexican Kaleidoscope: myths, mysteries and mystique has just been released [Click the link to purchase]. The print edition will follow shortly, with an official book launch event in late November, in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico. Full details for the book launch in Ajijic will […]

Sep 012016
Bert Miller's outstanding photographs of Chapala and environs in the 1970s and 1980s.

Bertram (“Bert”) Miller was a supremely talented amateur photographer who retired to Chapala and spent several years documenting the town and its inhabitants in the 1970s and 1980s. After his passing, a significant number of his photographs were donated by his youngest daughter, Norma, to the Chapala archives. The archives, open to the public, are […]

Aug 292016
Artist and poet Clarence Major visited Lake Chapala in 1968

The multi-talented African American poet, novelist and artist Clarence Major spent some time at Lake Chapala in 1968. Major was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1936 and grew up in Chicago. In the early 1950s, Major studied drawing and painting under painter Gus Nall (1919–1995) and attended the Art Institute of Chicago, where his teachers […]

Aug 252016
Artist Eleanor Smart (1909-1993) was a long-time resident at Lake Chapala

Eleanor Smart (1909-1993) was an American artist who lived with her husband Douglas in Chula Vista, Lake Chapala, from the late 1960s until shortly before her death. The couple had visited the Lake Chapala area several times before purchasing the “Radke house” (Calle del Redondo #122, in Chula Vista) in 1968. She worked in a variety […]

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Aug 222016
Blair Niles first visited Mexico in 1903-1904

Blair Niles (1880-1959), as she is best known, was formerly Mary Blair Rice, the first wife of naturalist and oceanographer Charles Beebe. The Beebes visited Mexico (and Lake Chapala) over the winter of 1903-1904. As Mary Blair Rice, she contributed the cover design to Beebe’s book Two Bird Lovers in Mexico (which is dedicated to […]

Aug 112016
Ajijic artist Florentino Padilla gave art classes in the 1960s at the Lake Chapala Society

Florentino Padilla, who lived from about 1943 to 2010, regularly featured in the pages of the Guadalajara Reporter in the mid-1960s because he was “largely responsible for the bright, charming paintings” that were being produced by youngsters in weekly art classes at the Lake Chapala Society’s “Biblioteca”. Padilla, described as a personable young man, was […]

Aug 082016
Charles Beebe described Lake Chapala in 1904

Charles Beebe (1877-1962) and his wife, Mary Blair Rice (the subject of a future post) visited Lake Chapala in the latter half of March 1904. Charles William Beebe (Will Beebe, as he preferred) was an American ornithologist, naturalist, explorer and author, born in Brooklyn, New York. He never completed a college degree, but undertook pioneering […]

Aug 012016
Canadian Poet Earle Birney visited Ajijic in the 1950s

The distinguished Canadian poet Earle Alfred Birney (1904–1995) traveled in Mexico in the 1950s and wrote several poems based on his experiences, including one entitled “Ajijíċ”. Birney was born in Calgary, Alberta, on Friday 13 May 1904 and raised on a farm near Creston in British Columbia. After short stints working on a farm, in […]

Jul 282016
Mario Aluta lived and painted in Ajijic in the late 1960s

We know disappointingly little about the life and work of artist Emanuel(e) Mario Aluta. Aluta moved to Ajijic with his second wife Daphne Greer Aluta (born 1919) in the late 1960s. It is unclear whether or not Mario remained in Ajijic after 1974 when Daphne married Colin MacDougall in a small ceremony at the home […]

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