Maynard Dixon

Jan 24, 1875 - Nov 11, 1946

Artist, Painter

Maynard Dixon's Inspiration

About Maynard Dixon

Maynard Dixon was an American artist, best known for his paintings of the desert, Native Americans, settlers, and cowboys of the early 20th Century American West. Though his earliest work is in the impressionist style of the late 19th Century, he would soon search for a new expression. During the 1920s, strongly influenced by the powerful portrait photographs of his second wife, Dorothea Lange, Dixon would emerge as a true modernist with a style that focused on strong compositions, design, color and self-expression. By distilling and simplifying his subjects, he created a unique style that was both bold and mysterious. During the early 1930s, Dixon visited Zion National Park and became enthralled with the area. In 1939, he built a summer home in the nearby town of Mount Carmel with his third wife, San Francisco muralist Edith Hamlin. With a winter home and studio in Tucson, Arizona, Dixon would spend the rest of his life exploring and painting the landscapes of the American Southwest. He died at his home in Tucson in 1946.

Dixon's inspirational style is exemplified here in the painting, "Wild Horses of Nevada".

My object has always been to get as close to the real thing as possible — people animals and country. The melodramatic Wild West idea is not for me the big possibility. The more lasting qualities are in the quiet and more broadly human aspects of Western life.

- Maynard Dixon