An American in Paris: Donald Beauregard - Perspectives from The Artist's Road

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An American in Paris

Donald Beauregard

Perspectives from The Artist’s Road


Utah Landscape, 1914, Donald Beauregard
Utah Landscape          1914          Donald Beauregard

   It is always a delight to discover the work of wonderful artists whose names may never have risen to the heights of the superstars of art history, but who deserve to be remembered for their invaluable contributions.

Milking Time, 1906, Donald Beauregard
Milking Time          1906          Donald Beauregard

   The New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe is showcasing the work of Donald Beauregard (1884-1914) through October 22nd, 2023, in an exhibition titled "An American in Paris." It is intriguing to imagine what directions Beauregard’s impressive work would have taken had he not died at age 29. He was unable to finish the famous murals (six 10 x 12’ murals) in the museum’s St. Francis Auditorium (depicting the history of St. Francis, patron saint of Santa Fe), before succumbing to stomach cancer.

   In his short life, Beauregard, from a small town in Utah, traveled to Paris to study at the Académie Julian for two years, thanks to the patronage of Frank Springer. While doing archaeological field studies in Arizona and New Mexico with a University of Utah professor, Beauregard met Dr. Edgar Hewett, director of archaeological exhibits for the Pan California Exposition, and Santa Fe advocate. Hewett introduced Beauregard to Frank Springer, an attorney and arts patron. While studying abroad, Beauregard also spent time in Douarnenez, a seaside commune also frequented by Gauguin and van Gogh. The rural women of the area wore lace chapeaus known as coiffrées as in the image below.  

Auvergne, ca. 1912, Donald Beauregard
Auvergne          ca. 1912          Donald Beauregard

   Museum Director of the New Mexico Museum of Art, Mark White writes, “This is the kind of artist that Hewett thought was the epitome of the Santa Fe art colony. . . . He was professionally trained in Europe, he was experimental. (Hewett) really believed Beauregard was where the city should go.” Beauregard painted with an impressionistic hand, but was also greatly influenced by the work of Cézanne, Gauguin, van Gogh and the early works of Matisse.

   The New Mexico Museum of Art holds a large collection of Beauregard's work, over 150 paintings and drawings by the promising artist with a life cut short.

Portrait of the Artist, ca. 1910, Donald Beauregard
Portrait of the Artist
ca. 1910

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