October is Tom Lea month and the Branigan Cultural Center will host a special lecture to honor Lea and his work. Dr. Debora Rindge will present a lecture entitled “Tom Lea’s Murals in New Mexico and Texas in the 1930s” on Saturday, October 14 at 11am at the Branigan Cultural Center.
Tom Lea was known as an extraordinary muralist, illustrator, war correspondent, portraitist, landscapist, novelist and historian. His murals, dating from the 1930s, express the history and character of distinct regions of the United States and are found on the walls of public buildings from Washington, D.C. to El Paso, Texas. As an eye-witness artist correspondent for LIFE magazine during World War II, Tom Lea traveled more than 100,000 miles to record U.S. and Allied soldiers, sailors and airmen waging war worldwide. He wrote and illustrated bestselling novels, The Brave Bulls and The Wonderful Country, and a dozen other books about subjects as diverse as mountaineering in Wyoming, horse training in 16th century New Spain, and the history of the King Ranch. His paintings depict remote and exotic places from Ecuador to China, but primarily capture subjects found near his home on the border between Mexico and Texas.
Dr. Debora Rindge is an art historian and founder of the consulting firm, Mirari, in Las Cruces, New Mexico. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, was a Professor and Gallery Director for many years, and a Fulbright Scholar in American Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. She is a specialist in Art of the American West, and in 2004 she and William Thompson co-authored the catalogue and co-curated the national travelling exhibit, Light from the Sky: A Tom Lea Retrospective, 1907-2001.
Admission to the Branigan Cultural Center is free. The museum is located at 501 North Main Street and is open Tuesday – Friday from 10am to 4:30pm, and Saturday from 9am to 4:30pm. For additional information, visit the website at museums.las-cruces.org or call 575.541.2154.