"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. But an imminent sale brings an urgency to protect this important part of Dixon’s heritage in the West.
Help save the Maynard Dixon and Edith Hamlin House for future generations.
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.
Since fall of 2012 the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation 501(c)(3) has worked with the current owners of the Dixon House to develop a robust strategy to safeguard this landmark property. We must act quickly to insure the protection of this important cultural asset before it is put up for sale in the next few months.
We need your financial support to protect this important place, to maintain Tucson’s connection with internationally renowned western painter Maynard Dixon, and to celebrate his contributions to the American canon of western art.
Design and construction of this extraordinary house 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 Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation is working on three strategies to ensure this property is protected:
Listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Although listing in the Register does not provide protection, it does provide significant tax reductions for future owners who follow national preservation standards.
A Historic Preservation Easement. The current owner will convey a historic preservation conservation easement to the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation. The easement requires annual monitoring and requires funding to protect and enforce the easement should it ever be challenged.
City of Tucson Historic Landmark Designation. This regulatory protective designation is placed on significant historic properties through a rezoning overlay. The Foundation has been working with the City of Tucson to update the designation process, and this property will be one of the first designated city landmarks in 20 years.
These three strategies will ensure that this property is protected. To successfully implement this preservation approach, we need to raise a minimum of $30,000 for our Historic Property Protection Fund by the end of Summer 2013.
Please support the preservation the Maynard Dixon and Edith Hamlin House with a gift today.
This project is supported by Mark Sublette Medicine Man Gallery. The Gallery specializes in the lifework of Maynard Dixon, San Ildefonso potter Maria Martinez, and works by the Taos Society of Artists. The gallery always has an exceptional array of Native American antiques, contemporary paintings and sculpture by nationally acclaimed artists, including members of the Cowboy Artists of America. This project is also supported by the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun celebrating the work and life of artist Ted DeGrazia.