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Datus E. Myers

(1879 - 1960)

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Biography

Datus Ensign Myers (1879- 1960) was born and raised in Jefferson, Oregon.  His interest in the arts would take him first to the Chouinard Institute in Los Angeles and then to the prestigious Art Institute of Chicago. 

During his five years at the Art Institute, Myers had the opportunity to study under well-known instructors of the day, such as John Vanderpool, Fredrick Freer and Louis Betts. There, he would also meet Alice Clark. A fellow student and one of the first female graduates in architecture from the Art Institute, Clark and Myers would eventually marry and have two children.

Myers time in Chicago would prove successful, he joined the Chicago Society of Artists, completed a mural at the Linné Elemantary School and won a commission to produce posters for Chicago Rapid Transit, but it would be Santa Fe that ultimately captured his attention. Like so many artists of the time, Myers first arrived to Santa Fe on a painting trip in 1923. After two consecutive summers in the city, he would make Santa Fe is permanent residence in 1925. Joining the artist community, Myers moved into a home on Camino del Monte Sol, just up the street from the historic Canyon Road. Among his neighbors were nationally-known artists Will Shuster and Frank Applegate.

In 1934, Myers was appointed Field Coordinator of the Indian Division of the New Deal’s Public Works of Art Program. His primary responsibility was focused on visiting the local Pueblos in order to recruit Native artists to the program. Many of the Native artists Myers worked with would come to influence his own style and subject matter, and it is his paintings of the American West and idealistic images of Native American life which remain his most well-known.

Myers’ works can be found in the collection of the Smithsonian Art Museum and the Museum of New Mexico.