Cyrus Baldridge

(1889 - 1975)

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Before visiting Santa Fe in 1926, Cyrus Baldridge had seen much of the world.  From his birthplace in Alton, New York, his family moved frequently, yet Baldridge received art training from age ten, first studying with the famous newspaper illustrator Frank Holme.  He graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in English Literature, took a job in commercial art, then worked as a field artist during World War I.  After the war, he sketched in China, contributing drawings and articles to Scribner's Magazine.  Baldridge and his wife traveled widely in the 1920s -- to the Far East, Afghanistan, Persia, Africa -- and the diverse and colorful cultures they encountered became inspiration for Baldridge's book illustrations.  After 1932, Baldridge returned to the United States, where he continued to illustrate books and worked in film, designed stage sets, and wrote his autobiography.  Frequent visits to the West in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s introduced southwestern themes to his art.  In 1952, the Baldridges settled permanently in Santa Fe, where he worked two more decades, painting the desert and mountain country of New Mexico in watercolor and oil.