Transcendental Art in Santa Fe During the 20th Century

Bill Ford came to Santa Fe in 1942 to become an artist.

Bill Ford was part of Santa Fe’s intelligentsia during the 1940s and 1950s. He used to hang out with Alfred Morang who had an open house every Saturday. All of the artists brought wine and food. Those were the great parties of Santa Fe. Artists, writers and all sorts of characters, from the highest politician to lowest hooker were in attendance. Alfred Morang was a member of the Transcendental Painters Group, It was started in Santa Fe in 1938 by the artist Raymond Jonson. This small collection of budding artists strived to go beyond traditional art into a realm that drew from pure emotion, creating works that ranged from the abstract to the spiritual.

A Historic Legacy

Bill Ford was born in New York but his parents made certain to instill in their son the family’s Southern legacy. His mother’s father was George Washington Taylor. He was a courier for the Confederate Army during the Civil War. In 1896 he was elected to Congress, where he remained in office until he was 65. The Ford Theater in Washington D. C. is where President Lincoln was assassinated. The theater was named after his paternal great-grandfather, John T. Ford.

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