Learn A Glimpse Into Santa Fe’s Early Art Scene at Bishop’s Lodge
Settled more than 150 years ago, Bishop’s Lodge is steeped in history and a profound sense of place. As its General Manager, I take special pride in our team’s sensitive restoration and preservation efforts. Authenticity infuses our entire approach, and one extraordinary tribute—both to the diverse native communities that have long made New Mexico their home, as well as to Santa Fe’s deep artistic roots—can be found in our Dining Room. Taking pride of place are four newly restored oil paintings by Warren E. Rollins of Puebloan life from the 1920s.
Warren Eliphalet Rollins (1861 – 1962) attended the San Francisco School of Design (now San Francisco School of Art), and held a brief stint as its associate director. But what he was most known for was being the “preeminent image-maker of the Southwest.” Rollins developed an immense interest in Native American culture, and spent years traveling through every Western state in the U.S. to research indigenous customs and habits. He lived for months at a time among the Hopi, Crow, and Blackfeet tribes, garnering so much trust that he became one of the first Western painters to be admitted to their ceremonies.
Widely regarded as the “Dean of the Santa Fe art colony,” Rollins found great inspiration in the Southwest, started a studio in Santa Fe, and was instrumental in establishing the city’s burgeoning art scene. In 1909, he persuaded the governor at the time to allow him to mount the first formal art exhibition in Santa Fe—paving the way for generations of artists to come.
Look around, and you will find Rollins’s artwork throughout the area. The Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe has an extensive collection of Rollins’s work, including “Grief,” one of his most famous paintings. Rollins also did murals for the Museum, along with the post office and Harvey House in Gallup.
But it was a fateful stay at Bishop’s Lodge that cemented Rollins’s connection: He paid for his lodging with the enormous canvasses that now grace our Dining Room. Rollins’s paintings are highlights among our collection of Southwestern pieces, and it’s just one of the ways in which we’re preserving the Lodge’s distinctive heritage.