The painting on the cover of this menu is by Frederic Kimball Mizen, a Chicago artist whose work we’ve seen in Santa Fe advertising before, including on the cover of yesterday’s booklet. As this painting suggests, Mizen spent some time at the Taos art colony. Though he had pretensions of being a fine artist, he was mainly an illustrator and illustration gimmicks–such as his picture of bears drinking Coca-Cola at Old Faithful Inn, crept into his paintings as well.
This painting of Taos Pueblo is a good example. It might have been a candid illustration of Pueblo Indian life, but the instead the eye’s attention is drawn to the girl or young women in the center foreground. The least Native-American-looking person in the group, she is breaking the “fourth wall” by looking directly at the viewer. Is she trying to sell us jewelry or just trying to sell the painting? Either way, she completely detracts from the realism and grandeur of the scene.