What did New Mexico have that intrigued the Anglo artists so much; what are the reasons Anglo artists were drawn to NM?

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William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would assume that Anglo artists were drawn to New Mexico because initially they could live there very cheaply. That was before it became an attraction to wealthy people, who subsequently became buyers for the artwork being produced locally. Those are two reasons. Thirdly, New Mexico offered artists peace and quiet, escape from the ugly, squalid, expensive, overcrowded, competitive cities. New Mexico was an undiscovered paradise, so the artists could produce landscapes that hadn't yet been over-exploited by other artists. It was similar in a way to Gauguin's Tahiti and Van Gogh's Arles. That was the fourth attraction. The fifth was New Mexico's great natural beauty, notably the rich colors and interesting shapes of its rock formations. The Anglo artists were also attracted by the native Indian artwork, notably the jewelry, the tapestries, and the pottery. They wanted to absorb some of these genuine, non-commercial artistic values into their own artwork.

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