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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Jan 152015
Watercolorist Paul Fischer (1864-1932)

German-born painter Paul “Pablo” Fischer (1864-1932) lived in Mexico for many years and painted at least two watercolors of Lake Chapala. Fischer (1864-1932) was born in Stuttgart, Germany, and earned a medical degree at the University of Munich, in 1884. He traveled to Mexico in about 1890 to administer an inheritance  in the northern Mexico […]

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Jan 122015
Rafael López (1873-1943), poet

Rafael López (1873-1943) wrote a poem entitled “To Lake Chapala” (1927). The poem is a homage to, and parody of, the famous poem “La suave patria”, composed by Ramón López Velarde (1888-1921). (Ramón López Velarde is often considered Mexico’s national poet.) Rafael López, whose formal name was José Barbarín Rafael de la Concepción López Castañón (!) […]

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Jan 082015
Alexander Nicolas Muzenic (1919-1976), student of Josef Albers

Alexander Nicolas (“Nick”) Muzenic was born 25 September 1919 in Kansas, and died in Los Angeles 12 March 1976. His first names are variously listed as Nicolas, Nikolas, A. Nicolas or simply Nick. He lived and worked in Ajijic for at least a couple of years, from 1948 to 1950. Apparently of Croation background, his […]

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Jan 052015
Ned Polsky (1928-2000), Beat sociologist

Ned Polsky (20 October 1928 to 13 June 2000) was an American author who wrote the 1967 book Hustlers, Beats, and Others. The book was a sociological look at the various “deviant branches of American life”, ranging from pool-hall regulars to the beat sub-culture, pornography and uncaught adult criminals in their natural environments. The book […]

Jan 012015
Carlos López Ruíz (1912-1972)

Born 26 March 1912 in Chiquinquirá, Boyacá, Columbia, Carlos López Ruíz (sometimes simply Carlos López) lived and painted in Ajijic for several years in the early 1960s. He came from a well-connected family, but disappointed his father by not entering the military or the church. Instead he became an artist. He began his artistic career […]

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Dec 292014
Alexander Trocchi (1925-1984), Scottish Beat Novelist

Scottish writer Alexander Whitelaw Robertson Trocchi was born in Glasgow 30 July 1925 and died 15 April 1984 in London, England. After graduating from the University of Glasgow, Trocchi lived in Paris, where in the early 1950s, he edited the literary magazine Merlin, which published the work of many noteworthy writers including Henry Miller, Samuel […]