Early Painters of the Borrego Desert

Around 1930 a young botanist from Chicago came to the Borrego desert to dig in the sand and collect native plants. At some point hunting for tansy-mustard and tidy-tips wasn’t enough for her, so she took out her easel and began painting the dunes and smoke trees.

Last month I picked up one of her 1930s Borrego paintings on eBay for $99. When I hung the painting on my bedroom wall, it immediately connected me to Edith Purer herself (she became California’s first woman ecologist), as well as to the plants, topography and mood of Anza-Borrego.

Painters of the Desert Anniversary

PAINTERS OF THE DESERT ANNIVERSARY–If Desertscapes weren’t enough excitement for one year, 2010 also marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of “Painters of the Desert”. It’s rare that a single book defines an entire genre of art, but that’s…