Theodore Van Soelen

(1890 - 1964)


Van Soelen's early art training began in his hometown at the St. Paul Institute of Arts and Sciences.  Later he earned a travel-study scholarship to Europe while at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.  In 1916 Van Soelen moved to Albuquerque to improve his health.  After four years illustrating and painting, he wanted to observe Indian life more closely, so he moved to a remote trading post.  A later stay on a Texas ranch offered the painter authentic insights into the life of the working cowboy, another theme he pursued in paint and lithography.  Eventually he settled permanently in Tesuque, just outside of Santa Fe, working as a muralist for the Works Progress Administration and recording the area and its people with a practiced, disciplined eye.