May 232016
 
Glendon Swarthout's short story "Ixion" is set at Lake Chapala in the 1950s

In between writing hugely successful novels, Glendon Swarthout (1918-1992) wrote a short story entitled “Ixion”, set at Lake Chapala. This story was later turned into a screenplay by his son Miles Swarthout as Convictions of the Heart. Swarthout spent six months in Ajijic in 1951, with his wife Kathryn and their young son, Miles, aged […]

May 192016
 
Emil Armin painted Lake Chapala in the 1950s

Emil Armin (1883-1971) was born in Rădăuţi (Radautz), Romania, in 1883 and died in Chicago in 1971. He is assumed to have visited Lake Chapala at some point in the mid-1950s since one of his paintings, entitled “Morning Lake Chapala”, was hung in a no-jury exhibition of Chicago Artists in Chicago in February 1957. That […]

May 162016
 
Novelist Glendon Swarthout (1918-1992) wrote at Chapala for six months in 1951

Award-winning novelist Glendon Swarthout (1918-1992) wrote 16 novels, many turned into films, and numerous short stories. His short story entitled “Ixion”, set at Lake Chapala, was later turned into a screenplay by his son Miles Swarthout as Convictions of the Heart. Glendon Fred Swarthout was born 8 April 1918 in Pinckney, Michigan, and died on […]

May 122016
 
Sculptor Carl Mose visited Lake Chapala several times in the 1960s

Sculptor Carl Mose (1903-1973) visited Lake Chapala several times in the 1960s, though it is unlikely that he was artistically creative during his visits. Mose in described in the Guadalajara Reporter (6 March 1971) as a “many time visitor to lakeside.” Thomas Parham Jr.’s book, “An Affirmation of Faith” (Xulon Press, 2011), suggests that Mose […]

May 092016
 
Author Dr. Arvid Shulenberger (1918-1964) lived in Ajijic in 1955

Dr. Arvid Shulenberger (1918-1964), who taught English at The University of Kansas for many years, wrote academic works, poetry and at least one novel. Shulenberger lived in Ajijic for part of 1955. In his 1992 booklet, Lake Chapala: A Literary Survey, Michael Hargraves, who inadvertently curtails the author’s surname to Schulenberg, wrote that the professor […]

May 052016
 
Photo of Clique Ajijic and friends, 1975

The Clique Ajijic was a group of eight artists that existed as a loosely-organized collective in Ajijic for three or four years in the mid-1970s. Many of the photos of Clique Ajijic artists and their paintings were taken by John Frost, the artist-photographer who was a long-time resident of Jocotepec. The photo below (believed to […]

Apr 282016
 
Guillermo Chávez Vega (1931-1990) painted a mural in Ajijic in 1971

Muralist Guillermo Chávez Vega (1931-1990) is not usually associated with Lake Chapala, but is responsible for one of the area’s earliest surviving murals. The murals, painted in 1971, are in the private sailing club Club Náutico, in La Floresta, Ajijic. The murals are painted on the four sides of a pyramid-shaped roof “dome” on the […]

Apr 252016
 
Poet and author Diego José Abad (1727-1779)

Diego José Abad (1727-1779) was a Mexican poet and author, born in Jiquilpan, Michoacán (then on the shores of Lake Chapala). His birthplace appears to be the only direct connection that he has to Lake Chapala. Abad, born on 1 June 1727, was the eldest son in a wealthy ranch-owning family. At twelve years of […]

Apr 182016
 
Ruth Ross-Merrimer and her novel "Champagne & Tortillas"

Ruth Ross-Merrimer and her husband Robert Merrimer first lived in Ajijic in 1986 and she returned there in 1999, shortly after her husband’s death in Tucson, Arizona. In 2004, she moved to Palm Springs, California, where she died on 6 June 2011, at the age of 86. While living in Ajijic, Ross-Merrimer wrote and self-published […]

Apr 142016
 
Pioneer photographer Dorothy Hosmer visited Ajijic in 1945

Dorothy Hosmer, born in about 1911, spent much of her life combining adventure and photography. She visited Ajijic with her mother for a short time in 1945, where she met, among others, artists Otto Butterlin and Sylvia Fein. Fein recalls that Hosmer was planning to write an article about the area, with the intention of […]

Apr 112016
 
Ajijic in the 1960s: excerpts from Ralph J. McGinnis's "Lotus Land"

Ralph Jocelyn McGinnis (1894-1966) was a sports writer, publicist and painter who lived in Ajijic during the early 1960s and penned an article about the area entitled “Lotus Land”. “Lotus Land” was written initially in 1964 as an open letter to friends in the U.S., but McGinnis subsequently sold copies in the Lake Chapala area […]

Apr 072016
 
Painter and sculptor Mel Schuler exhibited in Chapala in 1949

Melvin (“Mel”) Schuler (1924-2012) was a sculptor, educator and a co-founder of the Humboldt State University Arts Department. Shortly after commencing his distinguished teaching career in 1947 at Humboldt State University, he was one of six artists exhibiting at the Villa Montecarlo in Chapala in August 1949. The exhibit, entitled “Cuarta exposicion anual de pintura” […]

Apr 042016
 
Ralph McGinnis (1894-1966), author of "Lotus Land"

Ralph Jocelyn McGinnis (1894-1966) was a sports writer, publicist and painter who lived in Ajijic during the early 1960s and penned an article about the area entitled “Lotus Land”. “Lotus Land” was written initially in 1964 as an open letter to friends in the U.S., but McGinnis subsequently sold copies in the Lake Chapala area […]

Mar 312016
 
De Nyse W. Turner Pinkerton (1917-2010) painted at Lake Chapala from 1970 to 2004

Portraitist De Nyse Wortman Turner Pinkerton (aka De Nyse Turner) was born in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, on 3 December 1917 and died in Naples, Florida, on 3 April 2010, at the age of 92. Pinkerton resided and worked at Lake Chapala, for at least part of each year, for more than thirty years, from 1970 […]

Mar 282016
 
Novelist, author and screenwriter Stephen Schneck (1933-1996)

Stephen Schneck was born 2 January 1933 in New York and died on 26 November 1996 in Palm Springs, California. He led a varied life, including stints as a novelist, author, actor and screenwriter, among other pursuits. Schneck studied at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, and then spent several years traveling around Mexico, where he […]

Mar 242016
 
Winifred Godfrey, one of America's top floral painters

Winifred (“Winnie”) Godfrey is best known for her floral paintings, but has also produced a number of fine, figurative works, including a series based on the Maya people of Mexico and Guatemala. She first visited Mexico, where her aunt was then living, in 1965, and spent about a year in Guadalajara. In 1966 she taught […]

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Mar 212016
 
Richard Zdenko Moravec, chemist and film-maker

Author and filmmaker Richard Zdenko Moravec is known to have visited Ajijic in about 1945, where he met Barbara Keppel-Compton who later wrote To The Isthmus, a novel which includes fact-based passages about their time there. The pair, both of whom had previous marriages, became husband and wife in 1951. Artist Sylvia Fein remembers Moravec […]