Sunday, August 14, 2016


Maybe it is the missile proving grounds, or maybe it is just something in the air, but everywhere we go.... there are little green men, except they are silver around here.   Especially in Roswell, New Mexico where the first UFO was discovered in 1947 on a ranch outside the town.  
Photos of alien spacecraft.
The UFO museum documents a rancher's discovery of a strange silver disc, made of some undetermined, indestructible material and the Sheriff dutifully notified the military base nearby..... well, that is when all the stories started to flow, including the stories of the military trying to suppress the information.  All to no avail, alas.... as photographs streamed in from around the world of oval discs hovering over Brazil, Canada, and other countries.  Movies were made, Radio shows were broadcast, journalists interviewed everyone....  and even today, sightings are seen.  Although you would think in this day and age of moon travel and space exploration, we would be able to find and identify at least one of these errant spacecraft as they hover in our atmosphere.  

However... we did not go to Roswell to see the UFO museum specifically.  We actually drove all the way to Roswell to see the Art Museum which has quite a selection of contemporary and dead artists.  Billy Schenck has an exhibit of his contemporary oil paintings, which when you first glance at them, seem to be prints in the style of Gustave Baumann.  But they are not prints, they are definitely oils.  

 Another contemporary artist was Donald Anderson, who painted big shapes with great contrasts.  
There were some examples of R.C. Gorman's works.

There were a number of paintings by artists of other artists, which was interesting.  And also there were some paintings from some of the Taos Artists, including this painting by Dorothy Brett, titled: Millicent Rogers; day and night.  Millicent Rogers hosted Dorothy and also Georgia O'Keefe for a short while and her home is now an art museum in Taos, New Mexico.  
There was an entire room dedicated to the art of Henriette Wyeth and Peter Hurd.  This is a self portrait of Henriette that she painted in 1940.  Henriette was the daughter of N.C. Wyeth and learned art from her father, going on to become well known for her portraits and her flowers.  Her brother was Andrew Wyeth.  
Her father took on a student by the name of Peter Hurd and he and Henriette married and had two children while continuing to work under her father's tutelage.  Eventually Peter wanted to return to New Mexico where he was raised, so they moved to San Patricio which is about halfway between Ruidoso and Roswell, NM.  This is a self portrait of Peter Hurd, painted in 1956.  
The Gate And Beyond by Peter Hurd
Peter Hurd was a very successful artist and was asked to paint the Presidential Portrait of LBJ, which was famously rejected by LBJ in a public unveiling, saying it was the ugliest portrait he had ever seen.  This prompted hundreds of political cartoons of the event, giving Peter Hurd national prominence and numbers of commissions, including King Faisal.  Norman Rockwell ended up doing LBJ's portrait (I think).    

Peter Hurd painted some oils, but mostly he painted in egg tempura.
Portrait Of My Father by Henriette Wyeth Hurd  (NC Wyeth)
Henriette, usually painted in oils.  One of her portrait commissions was of First Lady Pat Nixon.

The art museum also had displays by artists in residence and school children.  

And one hall was the entire workshop of Robert Goddard who started thinking of ways to get off the planet as early as 1898.  He was a graduate student of physics and by 1917 had grants from the Army to build a rocket which did not work out as hoped, so he returned to teaching.  However, by 1926 he had launched his first successful liquid propellant rocket at his Aunt's farm which went 184 feet in the air.  And in the photo above, you can see a long black rocket which went 1000 feet in the air, returning by parachute, in 1937.  Many of his patents and inventions are used by the military today. 

And on a personal note, the museum had a small reproduction of the Wells Fargo Mail Stagecoach which during its centennial, carried mail from the east coast to the west coast and mail carriers were given the opportunity to ride on the stagecoach for short portions of the trip.  My father worked as a mail person on the railroad out of Los Angeles at the time and was chosen to ride one of the stretches of the journey.   

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