FREMONT F. ELLIS
Last of Los Cinco Pintores of Santa Fe
By Barbara Spencer Foster with Bambi Elizabeth Ellis
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Fremont F. Ellis, a famous landscape painter, was born in Virginia City, Montana in 1897. His father was a nomadic dentist and theater operator who traveled from the bustling gold towns of the American West to the metropolitan cities of the east. Ellis began painting at about twelve years of age although he had little art instruction or formal education of any kind.
He had his first art showing in El Paso, Texas while still in his teens and was immediately praised for his work. However, his father thought he should have a profession along with his art work, so he studied optometry and had his own practice. But he wasn’t happy with the life of a businessman, and after visiting friends in Santa Fe, New Mexico, he decided to make his home there and pursue his art work seriously.
In 1921, Ellis joined with four other young painters in Santa Fe—Josef Bakos, Walter Mruk, Will Shuster, and Willard Nash—and together they founded an art society called Los Cinco Pintores. They called themselves modern artists who encouraged freedom of expression and they made a definite impression on the art movement in Santa Fe. The group disbanded in 1926, but Ellis continued painting until his death in 1985. He showed his work actively in Santa Fe and Los Angeles, his unique impressionistic style earning him a large and dedicated following. His work is in many museum collections including the Museum of New Mexico, the El Paso Museum, the Art Institute in Lubbock, Texas, and the Stark Museum in Orange, Texas. This book was written with the help of Bambi Ellis, the daughter of Fremont F. Ellis.
Barbara Spencer Foster is a third generation native New Mexican. She grew up in the shadows of the Manzano Mountains where her ancestors had settled in the 1800s. She is the author of Girl of the Manzanos, Pecos Queen, Fire in the Bosque, and Santa Fe Woman, all from Sunstone Press.
Inside This Book
8 1/2 x 8 1/2