If doubtful of your work, return to nature and renew your vision.

Maynard Dixon

 

Maynard Dixon followed this advice religiously throughout his artistic career. Inspired and renewed, he would return to his studio to create the art that brought him international renown. Dixon’s Tucson home and studio still stand, inauspicious, in a north Tucson neighborhood surrounded by dense cactus stands.

Maynard Dixon is internationally recognized in the canon of twentieth century artists of the American West. His body of work has become synonymous with early twentieth century views of the frontier and the American experience. His bold canvases and color capture the spirit of the southwest and reflect the tonality of the desert and its people. His work is held in the permanent collections of over 35 institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.; the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas; and the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Multiple biographies and monographs chronicle the life and work of Maynard Dixon and his significant contributions to western art.

In the fall of 2012 the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation began working with the owners of the Dixon House to develop a robust strategy to safeguard this landmark home and property.

Design and construction of this extraordinary residence was commissioned by Dixon and his wife Edith Hamlin in 1941 and was built under the management of Tucson contractor John Joynt. Located south of the Rillito River on the northern edge of the Tucson basin, the romantic Pueblo Revival retreat was designed as a residence with studio space for the artist couple. Fine craftsmanship throughout captures the revival era’s rugged frontier flavor. The irregular plaster, rough‑hewn vigas and hand‑crafted details create a romantic version of southwestern architecture, personifying Dixon’s taste and vision of the American southwest.

The house is the only property in Arizona closely associated with Dixon. The stylistically poetic residence is a personification of Dixon’s romantic vision of the American Southwest, his deep connection with Arizona and Tucson and his later life and work. The residence and studio was utilized by Dixon during the last several years of his life, when he called this retreat home. During this period, he remained very active as a painter, working on and completing significant and well‑known works. During his final years, Dixon continued to paint eloquent and emotive desert landscapes. In November of 1946 Dixon died at home.

The preservation of the this important place is paramount to maintain Tucson’s connection with this internationally renowned western painter and to celebrate Dixon’s contributions to the American canon of western art.

The home was sold to a new owner before the preservation strategy could be implemented. THPF remains hopeful a long-term preservation approach will result in the nomination of this property to National Register of Historic Places and designation as a local City of Tucson Historic Landmark.

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