For Collectors of International Art
We specialize in the Art and Artists of New Mexico
There are four small works by Dorothy Brett that we found this week for sale......
#1.....Water Colour study of a Cafe in Paris...7' x 4"...Signed...1920's
#2......Big Sur Study.....Signed....1930's.....Black and white pencil......w/ notes on colours.....9" x 12"
#3......Taos Street.....Colour...water media...signed
#4.......Mixed media....Indian lake ...man fishing...Eagle swooping to catch fish....signed
#5.....Shrouded Figures in White w/ Full Moon....Oil on Board...10 x 10
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”KIVA DANCE CIRCLE” (Painting by Dorthy Brett c. 1952)
Dorothy Eugenie Brett, born November 10, 1883, was the eldest daughter of the 2nd Viscount Esher, Reginald Baliol Brett, and his wife Eleanor van de Weyer, daughter of the Belgian ambassador to the court of St. James.
In October of 1915 Brett met D. H. Lawrence and his wife Frieda. Over the next several years Brett spent a great deal of time at the Morrell's Garsington Manor near Oxford along with members of the Bloomsbury group. Some of her friends were George Bernard Shaw, Aldous Huxley, Virginia Woolf, Aldous Huxley and D.H. Lawrence. Lawrence had been proposing the creation of a community called Rananim for several years without success. He felt that he had found the perfect location for such a spot in Taos, New Mexico, and was now actively seeking members. Only John Middleton Murry and Brett seriously considered the idea and in the spring of 1924, only Brett joined the Lawrences on the Aquatania bound for New York. Taos became Brett's home. Though she traveled frequently to Mexico, New York, and even made a few trips back to Europe, her roots were firmly planted in New Mexico. She developed a strong emotional attachment to D. H. Lawrence, and after Lawrence's death continued to live near Frieda for the remainder of Frieda's life. Mable Dodge Luhan, another prominent figure in Taos, also played an important role in Brett's life, alternating between protector and antagonist...
Dorothy Brett first arrived in Taos in 1924. She became inseparable from Frieda Lawrence and Mabel Dodge Luhan to the extent that they were known as “The Three Fates” in Taos social circles. Brett began to paint the native peoples of Taos, whom she found to be more peaceful and sedate than the warrior characters on horseback that she had seen as a girl in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in London. Her paintings took on a primitive air, depicting the Indians as a simple and spiritual culture.cles. Brett began to paint the native peoples of Taos, whom she found to be more peaceful and sedate than the warrior characters on horseback that she had seen as a girl in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in London. Her paintings took on a primitive air, depicting the Indians as a simple and spiritual culture.
Profoundly affected by the southwestern landscape, Dorothy Brett, who was called simply Brett by her friends, is best known for her Ceremonials, paintings of Native American dances and rituals.
In New Mexico Brett painted Native Americans. She was permitted to visit the Taos Pueblo for important ceremonies and then transferred the images to canvas, creating a series of paintings for which she is perhaps best known, the Ceremonials. Her close relationship to D. H. Lawrence made her popular with the researchers who sought to better understand his life. She lived to within a few months of her 94th birthday, dying on August 24th, 1977.
At 27, Brett was deaf. Until late in her life she carried an ear trumpet, but never let it get her down. Throughout her life she had a beguilingly alert, youthful humor. Brett was small and dressed in exotic smocks, Indian gear and bejeweled headbands.
Brett came to Taos with D.H.Lawrence in 1924. Well into her late years, Brett painted. Her work is almost child like and primitive, a swirl in decorative line. She painted her favorite subjects, Taos Indian celebrations. Her abundant work includes portraits, Indian dancers, and landscapes with mystic symbols. Brett died in Taos, August 1977, where she lived for many years. Her life was the subject for many books, one of the best is her own Lawrence and Brett.
(Frank Waters, "A Tribute To Brett"), Brett is equally famous as a painter of international reputation. After moving to Taos and being stimulated by its natural beauties and wealth of subjects, she quickly became interested in painting the Taos Indians and their native dances. Brett's work was influential in the building of Taos as an art colony. In his book Masked Gods, Frank Waters claims that there is something ineffable and compelling about Brett's Indian paintings. She is the only painter I have known who has blindly, intuitively caught the valid mystical component of Pueblo character. She paints their native religious rites, ceremonies, and dances in universal terms that are unmistakable (p. 275).
British short story writer and critic Katherine Mansfield also had a number of life-long devoted unmarried women friends including the artist Dorothy Brett and college friend Ida Baker (called L.M. by Mansfield).