2009 Catalog, William R. Talbot Fine Art, Antique Maps & Prints Home

2009 Catalog > 12. Myers “Deer Dance” and 13. Myers “Burros.”

12. Datus Myers. “Deer Dance,” 1930s. Gouache on fabric, 13 1/4 x 18 1/4." Frame size: 23 x 27." Signed in l.r. corner. Handsomely presented in a silk mount and rustic style frame. Fine.

Price: $7,500. [ Order ]

13. Datus Myers. “Burros,” 1932. Gouache on fabric, 11 1/2 x 17." Frame size: 21 x 27 1/2." Signed in l.l. corner. Handsomely presented in a silk mount and rustic style frame. Fine.

Price: $6,500. [ Order ]

Datus Ensign Myers (1879-1960) was an early member of the Canyon Road art community. Myers is best known for his paintings of the American west and depictions of Native-American life. After moving to New Mexico, his artwork became influenced by that of Native Americans, with whom he worked in the Public Works of Art Project of the 1930s.

In Deer Dance the influence of native artists such as Pablita Velarde is marked. Myers portrays this ritual event simply and accurately, revealing a sensitive understanding of its nature. In the painting Burros, Myers transforms these influences with a more modern formalism, reminiscent of the cubists.

Myers was born in Oregon and had the good fortune to study at the prestigious Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, California. He furthered his studies at the Art Institute of Chicago. As an outstanding student there, Myers was given the opportunity to paint a mural in the Linné Elementary School, which he completed in 1910. The mural, Settlers and Indians already suggests his interest in western themes with its depiction of Plains Indians. In the 1920s, Myers was awarded a Chicago Rapid Transit commission to produce posters advertising the use of rail transport for recreation. His posters included Wooded Island, Jackson Park, by the Elevated Lines and Green Bay Trail, by the North Shore Rail Line. These works reveal his affinity with the California colorists of the time, while displaying an assured confidence with graphic media.

Myers has met his wife Alice Clark while at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1923 the couple visited Santa Fe and by 1925 had moved into an adobe house on Canyon Road. In the 1930s, Myers was appointed field coordinator for the Indian Division of the Public Works of Art Project in the 1930s. He brought to the job an enthusiasm for the subject matter and worked toward increasing awareness of Indian arts. The project was based at the Santa Fe Indian School, establishing the school’s reputation in the arts. Working with some of the finest Indian artists of the time had a strong influence on the formal qualities of Myers’ artwork, and sometimes its subject matter as well.

Datus Myers’ works are held in a number of important permanent collections including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Chicago Art Institute, and the Museum of New Mexico.

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