Feb 192015
Robert Pearson McChesney (1913-2008), abstract painter

Robert Pearson McChesney (1913-2008) was a noted California abstract artist, a pioneer of the abstract expressionism (ab-ex) movement, and one of the leading figures of American Modernism. Robert “Mac” McChesney and his second wife, sculptor and author Mary Fuller McChesney, moved to Mexico in 1951 as a direct result of losing their jobs during the […]

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Feb 162015
Bart Spicer, writer of detective and spy mysteries

Journalist and novelist Bart Spicer was born Albert Samuel Spicer on 13 April 1918 in Richmond, Virginia. He legally changed his name to Bart in 1964. He was married to Betty Coe, and died 15 February 1978 in Tucson, Arizona. While the precise dates are unclear, Spicer certainly visited Ajijic several times, mainly in the […]

Feb 122015
Sculptor and author Mary Fuller McChesney

American sculptor and art historian Mary Fuller (McChesney) and her husband Robert Pearson McChesney, also an artist, spent 1951-1952 in Mexico, living in Ajijic and San Miguel de Allende. They moved to Mexico as a direct result of losing their jobs during the McCarthy era. Mary Fuller McChesney was born 20 October 1922 in Wichita, […]

Feb 092015
Arthur H. Lewis, reporter who wrote 17 books

Arthur H. Lewis was born in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, on 27 September 1906, and died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 25 January 1995. He spent about five weeks in Mexico, in Ajijic on Lake Chapala, in the spring of 1964, working on his book Lament for the Molly Maguires, published later that year. His wife Juliet Blum […]

Feb 052015
Inside job: Alfredo Santos, muralist and painter

Alfredo Santos spent some time painting, and dealing in art, in Ajijic (and elsewhere in Mexico) in the early 1960s. However, before we look at that period of his life in more detail, it is worth considering his extraordinary backstory. Alfredo Santos was born in San Diego in 1927, the third of five children. He […]

Feb 022015
Jack Gilbert, poet (1925-2012)

The American poet Jack Gilbert was born 18 February 1925, and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, and then spent some time in Paris and several years in Italy. From 1956 to the mid-1960s, Gilbert made his home in the San Francisco Bay area. during which time he worked with […]

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Jan 292015
Charles Pollock and his Chapala Series (1955-56)

Charles Pollock (1902-1988), the oldest brother of Jackson Pollock (1912-1956), who became an icon of the American abstract art movement in the late 1940s and early 1950s, was a fine artist in his own right. In terms of longevity, Charles Pollock’s artistic career eclipsed Jackson’s. Charles’ work has been significantly reevaluated in recent years, thanks […]

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Jan 252015
Luis Gonzaga Urbina (1864-1934), poet

Luis Gonzaga Urbina (1864-1934) was born in Mexico City 8 February 1864. In his lifetime, he was one of Mexico’s best-known poets, straddling the boundary between romanticism and modernism. Urbina studied at the National Preparatory School and worked, for a time, as the personal secretary of the Education Secretary Justo Sierra. Urbina taught literature and […]

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Jan 222015
Charles Lewis Wrenn (1880-1952), portraitist and illustrator

Artist, portraitist and illustrator Charles Lewis Wrenn was born 18 Sep 1880 in Cincinnati, Ohio, and died 28 Oct 1952 in Norwalk, Fairfield, Connecticut. He painted at least one watercolor of Lake Chapala, presumably while visiting the area, though the precise date is unknown. Wrenn moved to New York City around 1900 and lived in […]

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Jan 192015
Spiritual leader and poet Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952)

Indian yogi and guru Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952) introduced millions of westerners to the teachings of meditation and Kriya Yoga through his Self-Realization movement and his book, Autobiography of a Yogi (1946). The book was an inspiration for many people. For example, Steve Jobs (1955–2011), the co-founder of Apple, who first read the book as a […]

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