Feb 252021
 
The Illuminated Elephants visited Ajijic in 1982

Of all the extraordinary individuals and groups visiting Ajijic during “hippie times”, one of the most curious was the group called The Illuminated Elephants (Los elefantes iluminados). The Illuminated Elephants visited Ajijic in 1982. The group, a traveling theatre “family” that had once been known as The Hathi Babas, adopted elements of the hippie movement, […]

Feb 182021
 
George Seaton: the first guide book writer to mention Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos?

Was George Seaton the first author to include mention of Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos in an English-language guidebook to Mexico? When I was recently re-reading George Seaton’s What to See and Do in Mexico, first published in 1939, a one-line mention of Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos jumped off the page. I can’t recall any earlier […]

Feb 112021
 
Esther Henderson and Chuck Abbott photographed Lake Chapala in the 1940s

Esther Henderson and her husband, Chuck Abbott, spent six weeks in Mexico taking photographs for Arizona Highways magazine in the early 1940s. They were major contributors to the magazine for decades. They published at least three photographs related to Lake Chapala in Arizona Highways. The first two were black and white images in the September […]

Jan 282021
 
Watercolorist Xavier Perez Aguilar was the first president of the Ajijic Society of the Arts

Xavier Pérez Aguilar became well known in Ajijic in the 1980s and 1990s for his fine watercolor landscapes and portraits. According to a “Profile of the Artist” in El Ojo del Lago, Pérez was born in Ocotlán (near the eastern end of Lake Chapala) but was raised and educated in Southern California. He worked in […]

 Posted by at 5:37 am  Tagged with:
Jan 142021
 
Herb McLaughlin photographed Chapala in about 1950

Herb McLaughlin was a prolific commercial photographer who began his career in Illinois before moving to Arizona. These images of the church and waterfront in Chapala were published in Arizona Highways in November 1950. Herbert (“Herb”) McLaughlin was born in Chicago, Illinois, on 30 July 1918 and died in Phoenix on 19 February 1991. He […]

Jan 072021
 
Carol Shepherd McClain researched birth practices in Ajijic in the 1960s

It’s not often that obstetrics makes it into my random musings about the artists and authors associated with Lake Chapala. But there’s a first time for everything! Starting in the 1960s, Carol Shepherd McClain, a young California researcher, visited Ajijic several times in order to investigate “traditional” birthing practices in the village. McClain’s supervisor at […]

Dec 312020
 
Herbert Johnson's photos: Central Mexico (1940s)

Herbert Johnson (1877-1960) and his wife, Georgette (1893-1975), settled in Ajijic in December 1939. Shortly after Herbert died in Ajijic in 1960, Georgette returned to live in the UK. These photographs come from a photo album that once belonged to Georgette. For the story of its rediscovery by historian Dr Kimberly Lamay Licursi in an […]

Dec 222020
 
A Christmas Potpourri of Lake Chapala Links

A number of artists and authors associated with Lake Chapala have clear links to Christmas. Admittedly, some links are more tenuous than others. Here, in no particular order, are a few of those that come to mind: German-born photographer Hugo Brehme, who  photographed Lake Chapala, and many of whose superb black-and-white postcard images are hauntingly […]

 Posted by at 6:39 am  Tagged with:
Dec 172020
 
Alfredo Navarro España exhibited at the "Third Annual Painting Show" in Chapala in 1948

The talented and versatile artist Alfredo Navarro España was a photographer and painter who first exhibited in Chapala in 1948 and was most active during the 1950s. One of his photographs of fishing nets at Lake Chapala was published by Arizona Highways in 1950, along with several of his drawings and paintings related to Mexican […]

 Posted by at 5:03 am  Tagged with:
Dec 102020
 
John Upton: a sneak peek into a translator's notebook

John Upton, the translator of poets such as Pablo Neruda and Miguel de Unamuno, and of several seminal works of Spanish literature, lived (off and on) in Ajijic from 1949 to the early 1990s. Translator and educator John Upton moved to Ajijic in 1949 In the early 1950s, Upton submitted several colorful pieces about Ajijic […]

Dec 032020
 
Herbert Johnson's photos: Horsemanship and bullfights (1940s)

Herbert Johnson (1877-1960) and his wife, Georgette (1893-1975), settled in Ajijic in December 1939. Shortly after Herbert died in Ajijic in 1960, Georgette returned to live in the UK. These photographs come from a photo album that once belonged to Georgette. For the story of its rediscovery by historian Dr Kimberly Lamay Licursi in an […]

Nov 262020
 
Jesús Acal Ilisaliturri (1856-1902) and his poem "El Chapala"

Jesus Acal Ilisaliturri (sometimes “Ilizaliturri”) was born in Guadalajara on 16 August 1856 and died in the city on 25 September 1902. Acal’s parents were Ignacio Acal Ilizaliturri and Josefa Ilizaliturri. Acal left school after secundaria and was a founding member of two literary circles: “La Aurora Literaria” and “La Bohemia Jalisciense.” Acal, who married […]

Nov 122020
 
Non-fiction author Joseph Cottler first visited Ajijic in the 1950s

Educator, writer and musician Joseph (“Joe”) Cottler and his wife, Betty, first drove south from Philadelphia to Ajijic in about 1957. They returned to the village several times. About 20 years later, following Betty’s death, Joe brought his second wife, Harriet Linton Barr, to Lake Chapala. Cottler, a high school teacher, mostly wrote biographies of […]

Nov 052020
 
Herbert Johnson's photos: Archaeological Sites (1940s)

Herbert Johnson (1877-1960) and his wife, Georgette (1893-1975), settled in Ajijic in December 1939. Shortly after Herbert died in Ajijic in 1960, Georgette returned to live in the UK. These photographs come from a photo album that once belonged to Georgette. For the story of its rediscovery by historian Dr Kimberly Lamay Licursi in an […]

Nov 052020
 
Herbert Johnson's photos: Xochimilco (1940s)

Herbert Johnson (1877-1960) and his wife, Georgette (1893-1975), settled in Ajijic in December 1939. Shortly after Herbert died in Ajijic in 1960, Georgette returned to live in the UK. These photographs come from a photo album that once belonged to Georgette. For the story of its rediscovery by historian Dr Kimberly Lamay Licursi in an […]

Nov 052020
 
Herbert Johnson's photos from the 1940s

One of the delights of writing this blog has been the number of readers who have reached out to me with further information about the artists and writers I’ve written about. This has greatly improved the blog and resulted in some valuable virtual friendships. A case in point. A year ago, a chance find at […]

Oct 292020
 
Does anyone recognize the subject of this François de Brouillette painting?

François de Brouillette was an accomplished artist, art restorer and poet. Born in Vermont on 22 April 1906, de Brouillette died in Santa Barbara, California, on 12 February 1972. De Brouillette was especially well known during his lifetime for his sensitive and striking portraits. This painting was shared with us by a reader who found […]

 Posted by at 6:03 am  Tagged with:
error: Alert: Content is protected !!