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Leon Gaspard

Photo located in Artist files: Gaspard, Photographs of Artist

Leon Gaspard

American, 1882 - 1964

School: Taos Society of Artists
Leon Gaspard (1882-1964) developed his art from several sources: his early life in Russia, the Parisian art scene in the early twentieth century, his travels in Asia, and his experiences in the American Southwest. Gaspard (generally accepted pronunciation: GAS-par) is not his birth name. The artist was born Leiba Schulman, in a poor Jewish settlement near Vitebsk (today in the Republic of Belarus.) He received his first art training at the famous school of Yuri Pen in Vitebsk. In 1900 - 1914, he lived in Paris where, in his words, he studied at the Académie Julian. His vibrant, impressionistic paintings attracted attention of art dealers in France, Belgium and Germany.

In 1909, the artist married an American, Evelyn Adell. At that time he also assumed the surname of Gaspard. During World War I, Gaspard served in the French army, barely survived a plane crash, and moved to New York in 1916. For health reasons, he and Evelyn settled in Taos, New Mexico, in 1918.

Gaspard found inspiration in the life of people who lived by their age-old traditions, including American Indians, and the peoples of Siberia, Mongolia, Algeria and Tunisia.
The artist died in Taos in 1964.