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Will Shuster (1893–1969)

Carlsbad #1, The Queen’s Chamber, d. 1924, oil on canvas, 30 1⁄4 x 40 1/8 inches

December 3, 2020

3. Will Shuster (1893–1969) "Carlsbad #1, The Queen’s Chamber," d.1924, oil on canvas, 30 1⁄4 x 40 1/8 inches

“We climbed down the ladders ourselves and prowled around in the dark, each carrying two lanterns and a little pack with food, drawing materials, and we put the lanterns off in the formations and worked by the light of another one ... and each night we’d come out and swear that we’d never go down there again” - Will Shuster

IMAGE OF SHUSTER and Carlsbad Painting

In 1924, Shuster, along with Mruk, was one of the first artists to paint Carlsbad Caverns around the time a survey of the cave system was being conducted by the National Geographic Society, years before the caverns would be designated a national park. He described the experience of working in Carlsbad to Loomis. “We climbed down the ladders ourselves and prowled around in the dark, each carrying two lanterns and a little pack with food, drawing materials, and we put the lanterns off in the formations and worked by the light of another one ... and each night we’d come out and swear that we’d never go down there again. It was rugged, like rough underground mountain climbing.” He returned again to Carlsbad some years later under the auspices of the Works Progress Administration for a series of large-scale murals, apparently no longer extant (to the ire, one surmises, of La Farge’s ghost). During one foray into the caverns, someone inadvertently turned out the lights. “Well what happened is this Irishman, a fine fella, who was acting as my guide, I was working in the Queens Palace and he said, ‘Shus, would you mind if I went and explored up here, there is a little place I haven’t been in,’ ” Shuster told Loomis. “I said, ‘No, go ahead.’ And I was working there. He had gone. All of a sudden the lights went out. I was in total darkness.” He sat patiently until the guide returned with a flashlight.  -- Michael Abatemarco, The Santa Fe, New Mexican, Sep 1, 2017

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Will Shuster (1893–1969) Carlsbad #1, The Queen’s Chamber, d. 1924, oil on canvas, 30 1⁄4 x 40 1/8 inches

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Will Shuster (1893–1969) Carlsbad #1, The Queen’s Chamber, d. 1924, oil on canvas, 30 1⁄4 x 40 1/8 inches

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Upper image, intaglio print (etching) on paper
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Lower image, ink on paper
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Carlsbad Caverns #2, d. 1924, oil on canvas, 36 x 30 inches, NP66-504

Carlsbad – Grey, oil on board, 16 x 12 inches, NP66-562

Carlsbad – Gold, oil on board, 10-3/4 x 15-3/8 inches, NP66-567

Carlsbad – Brown, oil on board, 12 x 16 inches, NP66-563

Home Dance (San Ildefonso), d. 1934, oil on masonite, 22-1/2 x 25-1/2 inches, TOG6540

Procession at Cristo Rey, oil on canvas, 25 1/8 x 37 1/8 inches, TOG5454

Still Life with Pot, oil on canvas, 15-7/8 x 11-7/8 inches, NP66-547

Tio Vivo, c. 1945, oil on canvas, 24 x 18 inches, TOG6160

Nude, d. 1928, oil on artist's board, 11 7/8 x 15 7/8 inches, NP66-538

River Scene, Santa Fe, NM, d. 1938, oil on canvas board, 15-5/8 x 19-5/8 inches, NP66-549

Deserted Road, oil on artist's board, 17-7/8 x 23-7/8 inches, NP66-553

Clouds and Desert Landscape, d. 1960, pastel on “Whatman” paper, 14 1/2 x 20 5/8 inches, NP66-557

Still Life with Fruit and Pitcher, d. 1926, oil on canvas, 18-1/4 x 20-1/4 inches

Koshare Kiva Dancers, etching and graphite on paper, 9-1/2 x 7-3/8 inches, NP66-387-B

The Rio Grande at the Old Buckman Bridge, d. 1930, graphite, pen and ink on paper, 7 x 9 inches, NP66-182

Line of Women at Feast Day, graphite on paper, 3-3/8 x 4-1/8 inches, NP66-280

Landscape with Tree, watercolor and graphite on paper, 5-3/4 x 5 inches, NP50-30

Houses in a Treed Landscape, oil on board, 12 x 16 inches, NP66-550

Puye Cliff Ruins and Ladder


Upper image, intaglio print (etching) on paper
 5-3/4 x 6-5/8 inches


Lower image, ink on paper
 5-3/4 x 6-5/8 inches

NP66-65 (335-B)
 

Echo Cave, Near Chama, graphite on paper, 4-3/4 x 6-1/4 inches, NP66-209

Silver City, oil on board, 11-7/8 x 15-7/8 inches, NP66-530

Hillside of Trees, watercolor on paper, 9-3/8 x 6-1/8 inches, NP50-19

Shalako Dance, Zuni, c. 1920s, graphite and charcoal on paper, 12 x 11 1/2 inches, NP66-263

On the Little Poneal, oil on board, 11-1/2 x 15-3/8 inches, NP66-532

Seining for Bait, Treasure Island – Florida, d. 1959, pastel on paper, 10 3/8 x 13 7/8 inches, NP66-569

Trees, watercolor on paper, 9-1/8 x 6 inches, NP66-13

Landscape, watercolor on paper, 10-3/4 x 13-3/4 inches, NP66-29

Sketch for Old San Miguel with Women, graphite on paper, 3-7/8 x 2-7/8 inches, NP66-287

Old San Miguel with Women, etching, 4-3/8 x 3-3/8 inches, NP66-328-D

Trees, watercolor on paper, 11-5/8 x 8-7/8 inches, NP50-18