Donald Beauregard: Forgotten American Modernist

A new exhibition at the New Mexico Museum of Art surveys the short, but ambitious career of one of the first artists associated with the museum, modernist Donald Beauregard (1884-1914). An American in Paris: Donald Beauregard opens February 25, 2023 and will be on view until October 29, 2023. 

An American in Paris presents an insight into Beauregard’s career as one of the more promising American modernists. His career lasted scarcely a decade, but included, archaeological work in the American Southwest, study in Paris, and an artistic tour of Southern Europe.  

Donald Beauregard was born in Fillmore, Utah, studied at the University of Utah, and taught as an assistant professor in the art department, before leaving for Paris in 1906. In Paris, he studied at the prestigious Académie Julian for two years where he trained in the academic tradition which favored close study from life and emulation of the lessons from ancient Greece and Rome, the Renaissance, and the Baroque. 

After a sojourn in Europe in 1912-13, Donald Beauregard returned to the United States to complete a mural cycle for the New Mexico building at the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in San Diego. The mural cycle would explore the history of St. Francis of Assisi and the Franciscan Order, culminating in an allegorical celebration of the arts and culture of Santa Fe. Sadly, Beauregard succumbed to stomach cancer prior the completion of his master work, which was finished by other artists for installation in the museum’s St. Francis Auditorium. 

“Although Beauregard is scarcely remembered today, his work was among the most progressive produced by an American at the time,” Mark White, NMMOA director and curator of this exhibition, said.  

The exhibition showcases forty Donald Beauregard paintings, including his images of Paris, the seaside commune of Douarnenez, and a series of biblical and mythological themes. His unique style blended the innovative experiments of Paul Cezanne, Paul Gaugin, and the early work of Henri Matisse. 

An American in Paris documents Beauregard’s restless and exploratory spirit which is visible in his numerous paintings, watercolors, and drawings. 

About The New Mexico Museum of Art  

The New Mexico Museum of Art is a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs. Programs and exhibits are supported by the Museum of New Mexico Foundation and its donors. The mission of the Museum of Art is to create authentic experiences that foster a deeper understanding and enjoyment of art throughout our state. With a collection of more than 20,000 pieces of work, the museum brings the art of the world to New Mexico and the art of New Mexico to the world.  

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