Dec 022016
 
Where to buy "Mexican Kaleidoscope: myths, mysteries and mystique"

Mexican Kaleidoscope: myths, mysteries and mystique, by Tony Burton, with thirty original pen and ink illustrations by Enrique Velázquez, is available in both print and e-book editions from all major online retailers (prices in US$): Print edition from CreateSpace (our preference) – $19.99 Print edition on Amazon.com – $19.99 E-book edition for Kindle – $7.42 […]

Dec 142017
 
The Luis Barragan-Witter Bynner house in Chapala

The American poet Witter Bynner, who first visited Chapala in the company of D.H. Lawrence in 1923, purchased a house in the town in 1940. The original address of the house, close to the plaza on the main street down to the pier, was 441 Galeana, but the current name of the street is Francisco […]

Dec 112017
 
Novelist and playwright Ray Rigby (1916-1995) lived at Lake Chapala in the 1970s

English novelist and playwright Raymond “Ray” Rigby was born in Rochford, England, in 1916 and died in Guadalajara aged 78 on 19 May 1995. In 1972, Rigby turned his back on a successful Hollywood career to move to Mexico. He lived initially in Jocotepec and for a short time in San Antonio Tlayacapan. About two […]

Dec 072017
 
Art Mystery: Whose portraits were painted by Swedish artist Nils Dardel when he visited Chapala in about 1941?

Famous Swedish painter Nils Dardel (1888-1943) visited Chapala towards the end of his life at a time when he was mainly painting fine watercolor portraits. Does anyone have additional knowledge about his visit (or visits) or recognize a friend or family member in any of the following paintings? All of the paintings are believed to […]

Dec 042017
 
Swedish-American visual artist Carlo Wahlbeck worked at Lake Chapala in the mid-1970s

Swedish-American visual artist Carlo Wahlbeck lived in Chapala for two or three years in the mid-1970s. Wahlbeck was born in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1933. At the age of 14, he started classes at the Stockholm School of Fine Art. Among his influences he credits the sixteenth century Italian artist Benvenuto Cellini and Swedish sculptor Carl […]

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Nov 302017
 
Charles Bogert, herpetologist and musicologist, documented mariachi music in Chapala in 1960

Charles Bogert (1908-1992) and his wife Martha (ca 1917-2010?) visited Chapala in 1960 and recorded a mariachi band – the “Mariachi Aguilas de Chapala” – playing several well-known songs. The recordings were released on a Folkways record later that year, and accompanied by explanatory notes written by the couple. One of the curiosities about this […]

Nov 272017
 
Artist and cactus collector Ferdinand Schmoll (1879-1950)

Ferdinand Schmoll (usually known in Mexico as Fernando Schmoll) was a German painter, born in Cologne in 1879, who owned a lakefront house west of the pier in Chapala for several years early in the twentieth century. It is unclear when Schmoll first arrived in Mexico, or in the Lake Chapala area, but he was […]

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Nov 232017
 
Eduardo A Gibbon described Chapala in the 1890s

Eduardo A. Gibbon y Cárdenas (full name Eduardo Anacleto Jesus Maria Antonio Gibbon) was born in Mexico City on 13 July 1845 and was a 19th century Mexican art critic, journalist, writer and diplomat. His father was born in England, his mother was Mexican. As a young man Gibbon was one of the private secretaries […]

Nov 202017
 
Internationally renowned sculptor Felipe Castañeda was born on the shores of Lake Chapala

Internationally renowned sculptor Felipe Castañeda was born on the shores of Lake Chapala. He was born on 16 December 1933 in La Palma (in the municipality then called San Pedro Caro, now Venustiano Carranza) at the south-east corner of Lake Chapala, where pre-Columbian artifacts are common. Castañeda’s lifetime in art shows the influence of millennia […]

Nov 132017
 
Famous American portraitist Everett Kinstler visited Ajijic in the summer of 1971

Famous American portraitist Everett Kinstler and his family spent the summer of 1971 in Ajijic on Lake Chapala. While staying in the village, he and his family became close friends of Kulla Hogan (now Kulla Ostberg), wife of journalist Don Hogan. Kinstler painted portraits of their two children who became good friends with the Kinstler […]

Nov 092017
 
The short-lived Ajijic-based West Mexican Society for Advanced Study

In the 1970s, Ajijic was the center, for a few years at least, of a higher education organization that specialized in archaeology, anthropology and history. An Ajijic couple – geographer Dr. William W. Winnie Jr. and his wife, archaeologist Dr. Betty Bell – were the driving force behind the creation in 1971 of the Sociedad […]

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Nov 062017
 
Art Mystery: How long did muralist Marion Greenwood stay in Chapala?

American artist Marion Greenwood (1909-1970) was definitely in Chapala at least once, as evidenced by a water-damaged drawing entitled “Chapala girl”, dated 1969 and offered for sale on EBay in 2017. Greenwood traveled south of the border for the first time in December 1932 and spent several years in Mexico, where she is best known […]

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Nov 022017
 
Archaeologist Dr. Betty Bell lived in Ajijic in the early 1970s

Archaeologist Betty Bell and her husband William W. Winnie Jr. (1928-1988) lived at Calle Colón #36 in Ajijic for several years in the early 1970s. While the precise dates are unclear, the couple made many significant contributions to village life. Bell gained a doctorate in archaeology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and […]

Oct 302017
 
Modernist architect Pedro Castellanos Lambley designed the Villa Ferrara in Chapala

Pedro Castellanos Lambley is one of several distinguished Mexican architects who designed and built the fine old homes in Chapala that now give the town its architecturally-eclectic appeal. Castellanos was the architect of Villa Ferrara, at Hidalgo 240, in Chapala. This elegant dwelling was photographed in the mid-1930s by American photographer-architect Esther Baum Born during […]

Oct 262017
 
Geographer William Winnie Jr. and his map of Lake Chapala towns

Dr. William W. Winnie Jr. (1928-1988) was an American geographer who lived in Ajijic with his wife – the archaeologist Dr. Betty Bell – in the early 1970s. Winnie published several papers relating to Guadalajara and western Mexico and also produced a map of Lake Chapala towns. The map, which was widely-distributed, was the earliest […]

Oct 232017
 
Molly Heneghan designed the first map-poster of Ajijic

Molly Duane Heneghan (now Molly Leland) is an artist and graphic designer whose husband, George Heneghan, the architect of the Danza del Sol hotel in Ajijic, was the subject of a previous post. Molly Heneghan was born into a society family in 1942. She graduated from Concord Academy in Concord, Massachusetts and attended Manhattanville College […]

Oct 192017
 
Manuel López Cotilla described Lake Chapala's villages in 1843

Following Mexico’s independence from Spain in 1821, a renewed emphasis was placed on the gathering of reliable statistics. Officials of the state of Jalisco made several attempts to gather relevant information, primarily in order to better monitor the state’s development. These efforts began with Victoriano Roa (1825) and were continued by Manuel López Cotilla (1843), […]

Oct 182017
 
NEW RELEASE:  Dilemma, a novel by Jan Dunlap

Sombrero Books is pleased to announce that Jan Dunlap’s debut novel – Dilemma – is now available for Kindle readers at the very attractive price of US$2.90. The regular print version (real books are nice!) will be published early next month, well in time for those Christmas gifts! Amazon.com [US $2.90] Amazon.ca [Cnd $3.62] Amazon.com.mx […]

Oct 122017
 
Pre-eminent American travel writer Horace Sutton visited Chapala in 1970

Horace Sutton (1919-1991), one of the most prolific and well-known American travel writers of all time, and the creator of the term “jet lag”, visited and reported on Chapala in 1970. Sutton was a lifelong travel journalist and editor. He began his career, before the second world war, in the advertising department of The New […]

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