Harold Joe Waldrum: Las Sombras

July 14 – September 29, 2019

Harold Joe Waldrum, Las sombras de la iglesia del pueblo de San Ildefonso, 1983-1985 aquatint etching, III/IX, 20 x 20 in. Tucson Museum of Art. Gift of the Artist. 2000.71.7


Harold Joe Waldrum (1934-2003) was a painter, etcher, photographer, author, and teacher, as well as an activist for the preservation of historic churches. His work is full of vibrant color and powerful geometric lines. Fueled by a critic’s remarks about work he created in the late 1970s being “New York paintings”, Waldrum sought to depict the quintessential New Mexico image and chose to paint the back of the church at Los Ranchos de Taos, focusing on the dramatic adobe architecture and deep contrasting shadows found in the Southwest.

This experience inspired the artist to explore painting more of the unique adobe churches and develop the style for which he is well-known. During the 1980s, working for a time in the historic studio of Joseph Henry Sharp, Waldrum continued to paint these architectural forms, becoming more engaged in their need for preservation. He established the El Valle Foundation to help raise funds for restoration of structures in disrepair. In the 1990s, the artist settled in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, and established RioBravoFineArt Gallery, dedicating himself to his work and supporting local artists until his death in 2003. This exhibition showcases series of prints by Waldrum from the museum’s collection as well as paintings on loan from private collections.


140 North Main Avenue,
Tucson, AZ 85701
United States

Call 520-624-2333


This exhibition is organized by the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block and curated by Christine Brindza, Senior Curator, James and Louise Glasser Curator of Art of the American West. The exhibition will be on view in the Lois C. Green Gallery.

Harold Joe Waldrum: Las Sombras is presented by the Tucson Museum of Art Western Art Patrons.

Generous support of the 95th Anniversary exhibition season at the Tucson Museum of Art is provided by the Connie Hillman Family Foundation, James J. and Louise R. Glasser, and Jon and Linda Ender, and AC Hotel Downtown Tucson.

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