Carlos Vierra, the son of a Portuguese sailor, was born near Monterey, California, on October 3, 1876. He studied art in San Francisco at the Mark Hopkins Institute under Gittardo Piazzoni. Interested in further study in New York, he boarded a ship that took six months to reach its destination by way of Cape Horn. His marine paintings afforded him some recognition and success. However, he developed tuberculosis and, at the advice of his doctor, moved to the drier New Mexico climate, where he opened a photography studio on the Santa Fe Plaza in 1904.
Vierra was among the very earliest artists in Santa Fe, and his photographs earned him a large clientele. He continued to work at his painting and studied architecture as well. Vierra, perhaps more than anyone else at the time, strongly advocated preserving landmark buildings and constructing new ones in what has come to be known as the Santa Fe style of architecture. It was his association with the School of American Archaeology and its director, Edgar Hewett, that gave him the opportunity to be an influential part of the restoration of the Palace of the Governors, the oldest capitol building in the United States. In addition, he oversaw the building of the Museum of Fine Arts and executed three of the murals in the St. Francis Auditorium. Vierra will forever be admired for his contribution to both art and architecture.
Actively seeking works by Carlos Vierra.