A German immigrant, Gustave Baumann moved with his family from Magdeburg to Chicago in 1891. At the age of 16 he became an apprentice in a commercial printmaking shop, where he learned methods of drafting and printmaking. The same year he attended evening classes in drawing and design at the Art Institute of Chicago. By 1903, Baumann had opened his own business as a commercial artist and advertising designer, designing signs, billboards, package labels, and magazine advertisements. This enterprise allowed him to save enough money to return to Germany to study at the Royal School of Arts and Crafts in Munich, placing him close to this country's well-known masters and traditions of craftsmanship.
When Baumann returned to Chicago in 1906, he resumed his career as a commercial artist and proceeded to receive many prestigious commissions. However, he continued to produce his own art and, in 1909, executed his first limited edition color woodcuts, which were exhibited in the Art Institute of Chicago. This new-found success enabled him to once again leave Chicago, this time for the solitude and peacefulness of Brown County, Indiana, where he remained until 1917. Then, after several months at various art colonies, Baumann accepted an invitation from Walter Ufer to visit Taos, New Mexico, and eventually settled in Santa Fe.
Although Baumann only expected to live in New Mexico temporarily, he remained there for the rest of his life. The vivid colors of the Southwest fascinated him and immediately appeared in his work. Everything intrigued him, from the arroyos to the desert vegetation to pictographs on cave walls. The Santa Fe artists' community embraced Baumann, and he soon became immersed in its many activities. In fact, in 1926, he constructed the first effigy of Zozobra from designs by Will Shuster in celebration of Santa Fe's annual Fiesta. In honor of his great talent and dedication, he was elected an associate of the Taos Society of Artists and was a founding member of both the Society of New Mexico Painters and the Santa Fe Art Club.
Actively seeking works by Gustave Baumann.