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Cady Wells papers, 1913-1968

Wells, Cady, 1904-1954


Collection Information

Size: 4.3 Linear feet

Summary: The papers of painter Cady Wells measure 4.3 linear feet and date from 1913 to 1968. The collection provides a range of documentation of Wells' life and career, namely as a landscape artist in New Mexico and as a servicemember of the United States Army during World War II. Among these materials are twenty-two personal journals; correspondence with friends, family, and art organizations; preliminary sketches and watercolors; fourteen sketchbooks; photographs; printed material; biographical material; and documents related to his professional affiliations.

Biographical/Historical Note

Cady Wells (1904-1954) was a painter and a patron of the arts, most associated with the Santa Fe, New Mexico, landscape artists of the 1930s and 1940s. Born in Southbridge, Massachusetts, Wells was raised in an affluent family, and pursued music as a concert pianist before discovering his passion for painting. Upon moving to New Mexico in 1932, Wells quickly gained rapport with regional modernist painters Andrew Dasburg and Georgia O'Keeffe. His artistic career was interrupted in the first half of the 1940s while he served in the United States Army during World War II. Returning to New Mexico in the mid-1940s, his innovative command of pattern and color earned him a reputation as a significant landscape painter of the American Southwest. Along with his original contributions, Wells was an avid supporter of his local arts community, assisting in the development of the Spanish Colonial Arts Society and the Museum of New Mexico.


The papers were donated in 1975 by Mason B. Wells, brother of Cady Wells.

Language Note

English .