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GENE KLOSS.... (1903-1996)


Information and Procurement Service

For Collectors of International Art


We specialize in the Art and Artists of New Mexico


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Recent Paintings for sale......

#1....Domingo Basket Dance....Artist Proof....12 x 15

Gene Kloss was born Alice Geneva Glasier in 1903 in Oakland, California. Her earliest memory was of the San Francisco earthquake in 1906. As a young girl she took piano lessons and became proficient enough to play live during silent movies. She attended local schools, and proceeded on to the University of California at Berkeley where she graduated with honors in art in 1924. During her final semester at Berkeley, Gene attended a seminar in etching.

Following this seminar, Gene completed several prints which she shopped to various galleries in San Francisco. She was turned down at each one. Her final attempt was the famous Gump's department store, where her etchings were accepted for sale. These early prints are signed A. Glasier, and had an original price tag of five dollars a piece.

The following year, in 1925, Gene took a couple of short courses at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco, which would be the last of her formal education. That same year, she married a young poet named Phillips Kloss, at which time she shortened her middle name, Geneva, to become Gene Kloss. Together they embarked on a honeymoon journey, driving south through California, across Arizona, and on to Las Cruces, New Mexico, where Phil's brother had a ranch. From Las Cruces, the young couple continued north to Taos. Gene made many sketches throughout this trip, and while camped in Taos Canyon they cemented a small portable press to a rock, printing several of the 52 plates she completed that year.

While living in the Bay Area, Gene and Phil became friends with a group of artists, writers and musicians who gathered to share and critique works. Gene would take her prints, and Phil would recite his poems. One young man in the group was training to be a concert pianist, and also enjoyed photography. During one of their evenings together, he told Phil that he thought photographs should be like Gene's prints -- ranging from pure white to absolute black. That young man later gave up his musical aspirations in favor of photography. His name was Ansel Adams.

During World War II, the couple remained in California while Phil worked in a shipyard and Gene produced new prints and paintings. After the war, they resumed their trips to Taos and eventually settled there in a simple home near Taos Canyon with no electricity or running water.

In 1965, they moved to southwest Colorado, providing new hiking territory and new material for sketches and etchings. Ouray, Telluride, After a few years in Colorado, they returned to New Mexico where they built their final home in the sagebrush northeast of Taos. (right: Enduring Sanctuary, drypoint, etching and aquatint, 1973 --The back of the Ranchos de Taos church)

Gene and Phil became acquainted with many people in the northern New Mexico pueblos. Adam and Marie Trujillo, and their family at Taos Pueblo, were perhaps their closest friends. Adam, whose Native American name was Red Deer, modeled for several of her prints. He posed for both "Taos Eagle Dancers," which Gene considered her most perfect aquatint, and with his son Pat for the piece, "Shield Dancers." While in Taos as visitors or residents, Gene and Phil attended many ceremonies at Taos, Cochiti, San Felipe, Santa Ana and Santo Domingo. Gene politely refrained from sketching during ceremonies, but she had an acute visual memory and was always welcome in the pueblos to sketch when no ceremony was being held.