Apr 25, 2006

Cliff Dwellings

Cliff Dwellings

c. 1918

Gustave Baumann

(American, born Germany, 1881–1971)

Tempera over graphite on brown paper

Support: Brown paper

Image: 26.9 x 24 cm (10 9/16 x 9 7/16 in.); Sheet: 31.9 x 29.8 cm (12 9/16 x 11 3/4 in.)

Gift of Ann Baumann 2005.460



From 1918 Baumann repeatedly visited Bandelier National Monument, where he was fascinated by the archaeological remains of cave and pueblo dwellings, once home to the ancestors of the modern Pueblo people, and the ancient pictographs in Frijoles Canyon. He mused that “one might sit under the tall pines hearing the waters of . . . El Rito de los Frijoles while beyond the lacy silhouettes of the pine and poplar one sees the sheer cliffs and at their foot the remains of habitation that invite one to speculate as to just what life must have been there in bygone days. . . . [O]ne can hear these same voices still vibrating somewhere between the bird notes, rippling of the water, and singing of the pines.” Baumann translated the tempera Cliff Dwellings into a woodcut in 1924. The composition was cut into the blocks in the same direction as the drawing and so is reversed when printed.

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Credit line: 
Gift of Ann Baumann

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