El Paso Museum of Archeology, El Paso, TX

The month of October is set aside in El Paso to celebrate the work of their native artist, Tom Lea.  Events are held all over town during the month.  The first one we went to was at the El Paso Museum of Archeology, a talk on Desert Plants in the Art of Tom Lea.  The talk discussed a number of his paintings and how he felt about the Franklin Mountains and the desert.  

The museum is located on Transmountain Road next to the National Border Patrol Museum, just west of US 54.  It is small but has a nice collection that documents the original inhabitants of the El Paso area, the southwest and northern Mexico.  It also has a small botanical garden, with a good collection of cacti.  The property is on the slopes leading up to the Franklin Mountains and has large meadow areas that are covered with poppies in good years.  There are paths available for walking in the area, and some archeological exhibits.

Every year in March there is a poppy festival at the museum, which features native dancers, as well as crafters.  It is a nice event even when there are no flowers because the area is so beautiful.

Their website is http://www.elpasotexas.gov/arch_museum/default.asp

A further note on Tom Lea month:  we did attend another event, a visit to see two of his murals.  One is in the old Federal Courthouse in downtown El Paso, which is no longer open to the public.   That mural is huge and amazing.  It depicts all of the different waves of settlers in the area, along with a little of the flora and fauna.  The finish of the mural is very soft, flat and matte, but the textures are brought out by the way it is painted.   It is not harsh or physically textured like so many of the oil paintings you see.  

The other mural we visited is the one at the main library in downtown El Paso.  It is the original of the painting shown in the slide above.  Even though the background is very simple the mural contains a lot of interesting detail.  Seen in person, it is far more impressive than what appears on the slide shown.

If you are in El Paso in October, we highly recommend that you take time to visit these murals., because they are wonderful works of art.  The picture below will give you an idea of what the courthouse mural is like.

There are a few additional photos in the album here.

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Tom Lea Mural

Original post October 2, 2011

© Susan L. Stone 2015                   rovingstones@me.com