May 022018
The great silver designer Hubert Pickering Harmon lived his last 30 years at Lake Chapala

Painter, jeweler, and accessory designer Hubert Pickering Harmon Jr. (1913-2004) was born into a wealthy family in Evanston, Illinois, on 23 October 1913. The family home was in the Highland Park district and the whole family spent time in Europe even during Harmon’s childhood. After high school, Harmon chose to study design at the Parsons […]

Apr 262018
Talented visual artist Sidney Schwartzman influenced an entire generation of Ajijic artists

The talented visual artist Sidney Schwartzman was born in New York City on 2 June 1917 and lived almost thirty years in Ajijic from about 1973 until his death there, at the age of 84, on 27 March 2002. Schwartzman, the son of two Russian-born immigrants, grew up in New York and was a member […]

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Apr 192018
Art Mystery: Who is the artist of this silkscreen?

This interesting picture recently came to light in Ajijic. It is (to the best of my knowledge) unsigned and undated. It appears to be a silkscreen rather than a painting. Does anyone recognize this work or have suggestions as to who the artist might be? Thanks, in advance, for any help you can offer. Previous […]

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Apr 122018
Gail Michel de Guzmán's El Angel boutique was an Ajijic landmark in the 1960s and 1970s

Gail Michel, as she was then known, arrived in Ajijic in 1961. Her talents as a businesswoman and dress designer, enabled her to start a store, El Ángel, close to the Posada Ajijic, that became so successful it was featured in the pages of Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue Paris. Alongside her boutique, Gail continued to […]

Mar 292018
North Carolina artist Jemison Hoskins taught art in Ajijic

Gayle Jemison Hoskins was born into an American military family in Ancón in the Canal Zone of Panama on 28 July 1920 and died in Henrico, Virginia, on 6 January 2010. Jemison Hoskins, as he was usually known, attended the Robert E. Lee High School in Jacksonville, Florida, and served in the U.S. Navy between […]

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Mar 222018
Artist Tom Faloon loved Ajijic like nowhere else

Visual artist and architectural designer Tom (“Tomas”) Faloon first arrived in Ajijic in 1970 and lived and worked in the village for more than forty years. John Thomas Faloon was born on 30 January 1943 in New York City. After graduating in 1960 from Oakwood Friends School, a Quaker college preparatory school in Poughkeepsie, New […]

Mar 152018
John Richmond, aka Juan Compo, painted in Ajijic in the 1990s

Canadian artist John Russell Richmond (1926–2013) began drawing and painting as a child, “around the time that he was learning to hold a crayon without eating it.” He was still producing highly original work at Lake Chapala well into his eighties. Richmond was a painter, illustrator, muralist, educator and author. He was born in Toronto […]

Mar 082018
Journalist Kate Karns moved to Ajijic in 1971 and wrote about Ajijic and Lake Chapala for decades

Fun-loving journalist Kate Karns, who has written many entertaining columns and articles about Ajijic over the years, lived in the village from 1971 to 2013. Karns was the local correspondent for the Mexico City News for several years immediately after Katie Goodridge Ingram. She also ran an art gallery for a time on Calle Colón, […]

Mar 012018
Author and artist Ixca Farías (1873-1947) found inspiration at Lake Chapala

Ixca Farías was a key figure in the artistic, literary and cultural circles of Guadalajara of the early twentieth century. He was a frequent visitor to Lake Chapala and the lake inspired some of his best artwork. He also wrote a newspaper article about Chapala recalling his early visits to the lake in the 1880s […]

Feb 212018
Artist Jean Caragonne (1906-1993) was active in Ajijic from the 1960s to the 1980s

Jean McCrum Caragonne was born in Bradford, Pennsylvania, on 21 February 1906 and studied at Allegheny College, Pennsylvania. After taking courses in fashion design at the Cleveland Museum School of Fine Art in Ohio in the mid-1920s she moved to Boston to become a fashion illustrator. Her husband George (1891-1981), born in May 1891 was […]

Feb 152018
Ajijic in the Old Days: Zara Alexeyewa, aka La Rusa

Newcomers to the village of Ajijic will not necessarily have heard of Zara Alexeyewa, (known popularly as “La Rusa” – “The Russian”), one of the village’s most distinguished long-term foreign residents, and one still remembered affectionately by the entire community, Mexican and non-Mexican. Everyone who knew her has their favorite anecdote about this iron-willed lady […]

Feb 082018
Parmenter: Fishing on Lake Chapala - return trip from Ajijic to Chapala in 1946

In a previous post, we offered an outline biography of Canadian writer Ross Parmenter, who first visited Mexico in 1946 and subsequently wrote several books related to Mexico. One of these book, Stages in a Journey (1983), includes accounts of two trips from Chapala to Ajijic – the first by car, the second by boat […]

Jan 292018
Todd "Rocky" Karns - enterprising Hollywood actor and artist - painted and directed stage shows in Ajijic for close to thirty years

Roscoe (“Rocky”) Karns lived in Ajijic with his wife (Kate Karns) and family from 1971 until his death on 5 February 2000. Karns had retired from careers in acting and sales and devoted himself in Ajijic to his painting and working as producer and director on shows at the Lakeside Little Theater. Roscoe (“Rocky”) Todd […]

Jan 222018
Robert Snodgrass (1912-1983) retired to Chapala in the 1960s to draw and paint

After retiring in the mid-1960s from a career in the U.S. military, Robert (“Bob”) Snodgrass and his wife Mira (sometimes Myra or Maria) lived at Lake Chapala for almost twenty years. They settled in the residential development of Chula Vista, an area that was known at that time as having more than its fair share […]

Jan 152018
Did Somerset Maugham ever visit Lake Chapala?

Did the great British author W. Somerset Maugham ever visit Lake Chapala? A number of writers and websites, extolling the literary connections of Ajijic, have claimed that W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) has connections to the village. Some of these writers add that he lived in Ajijic for several months in the 1930s where he supposedly […]

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Jan 112018
Art mystery: Does anyone have a painting by Edythe Wallach Kidd who painted in Ajijic and Chapala in 1944?

Edythe Wallach (1909-2001) lived and painted for most of 1944 in Chapala and Ajijic. Her Lake Chapala paintings were exhibited in both Chapala and in New York. About a year after her return to the U.S. she married a fellow artist, Hari Kidd. Edythe (Edith) Gertrude Wallach (later Wallach Kidd) was born in New Rochelle, […]

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Jan 082018
Dorothy Bastien, author of juvenile fiction, wrote at Chapala in the 1970s

Dorothy Bastien, a writer of juvenile fiction, and her husband Clarence Bastien appear to have lived in Chapala for about a decade in the 1970s. A brief note in the Guadalajara Reporter in 1972 says that Dorothy, living in Chapala, has just received an advance for a book accepted by the Teenage Book of the […]

Jan 042018
A sampling of Bert Miller's evocative photos of Chapala in the 1970s

More than forty years ago, photographer Bert Miller lived in Chapala and took some fine images of the town and its surroundings. While we are unable to reproduce these images to the high standards of the original negatives and prints, here is a small selection of some of his evocative photos, starting with the lakefront […]

Jan 012018
American novelist Norman Mailer and sexual shenanigans in Ajijic

Several Lake Chapala websites boast that the talented and multifaceted American author Norman Kingsley Mailer (1923-2007) is among those writers who found inspiration at the lake. But is their pride in his visits to the area misplaced? Mailer’s biography has been exhaustively documented in dozens of books and there is no doubt he is a […]

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