Leonora Welsher Donates Family’s Art Collection To New Mexico Museum Of Art

Caroline Pickard Culbert, John Pickard, 1930s, oil, 22 x 16 inches. Gift of Leonora Culbert Welsher in memory of her grandfather John Pickard and mother Caroline Pickard Culbert, 2018. Photo by Blair Clark
 
NMMA News:
 
SANTA FE A collection of 16 Southwestern works, prints, etchings, drawings, and two paintings, have been donated to the New Mexico Museum of Art by long-time New Jersey resident and New Mexico native, Leonora (Lee) Welsher whose last wish was that both her ashes and the artwork be returned “home to New Mexico.”
 
Welsher, who died June 26, 2018, was born at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Santa Fe, the daughter of Taos artist Caroline Pickard Culbert, and granddaughter of art history professor John Pickard. Pickard was responsible for hiring many New Mexico artists to create artworks in the new state capital building in Missouri which was completed in 1917. Grateful artists who participated in that commission later gifted some pieces of their artwork to John Pickard, and those are among the items donated to the New Mexico Museum of Art by Leonora (nee Culbert) Welsher.
 
When Lee Culbert married Douglas E, Welsher in Santa Fe in 1955, they received several other pieces as wedding gifts. After their wedding, the Welshers moved to Medford Township, New Jersey, where they lived the remainder of their lives.
 
“Lee Welsher first contacted me in 2014 to see if the museum would be interested in eventually receiving her collection of Southwest works –  that included works from the likes of Berninghaus, Hennings, Rush, Kloss, Dunton and Blumenschein,” said Mary Kershaw, director of the Museum of Art. “Some were gifts to her grandfather, others were gifts at her wedding, directly from the artists and Lee said she wanted the works to come home to New Mexico.”  
 
“They were just the pictures that we had hanging on the walls of our house while I was growing up, we sort of took them for granted,” said Welsher’s daughter Katherine Tenthoff, on a recent trip to New Mexico when she and her husband delivered the donated artwork to the museum. “Toward the end of my mother’s life she wanted to gather the collection on behalf of her grandfather and mother, John Pickard, and Caroline Pickard Culbert and return the artwork home to New Mexico.”
 
“Living on the East Coast for 56 years, didn’t matter, New Mexico was always her home,” Tenthoff said. “It never left her heart and for the last five years that’s all she talked about, was coming home and bring the art home.”
 
Tenthoff said she and other family members will return to New Mexico at a later date to spread Lee Welsher’s ashes.
 
Lee’s obituary says, “Over her life, she traveled to all 50 states and 30 countries, but her favorite location remained Northern New Mexico.”
 
These are the 16 pieces donated to the Museum of Art by Lee Welsher:
  1. Ernest L. Blumenschein, Sketch of Arrowhead Hotel, Missouri, 1920s, oil,
  2. Ernest L. Blumenschein, Sketch of Rio Grande Gorge at Taos, New Mexico, n.d., oil,
  3. Helen Blumenschein, Rocks & Snow, circa 1940s, lithograph,
  4. Oscar Berninghaus, Aspens and Indians on Horseback, 1920s, oil,
  5. Oscar Berninghaus, Taos Mountain and Barn, n.d.,
  6. Oscar Berninghaus, Winter Night, n.d., etching,
  7. Caroline Pickard Culbert, San Ildefonso Corn Dance, 1920s, oil,
  8. Caroline Pickard Culbert, John Pickard, 1930s, oil,
  9. W. Herbert Dunton, On the Great Plains, n.d., etching,
  10. E. Martin Hennings, Frozen Stream, 1950s, etching,
  11. Gene Kloss, Penitente Fires, 1950s, etching,
  12. Gene Kloss, Ceremonial Day at Taos, 1950s, etching,
  13. Gene Kloss, Taos Indian Jesters, 1950s, etching,
  14. Olive Rush, Deer Mountain, 1920s, watercolor,
  15. Olive Rush, Pools of Acoma, 1920s, charcoal,
  16. Ila Macfee Turner, Shorty Horse, 1920s, oil,

Ila Macfee Turner, Shorty Horse, 1920s, oil, 10 x 12 inches. Gift of Leonora Culbert Welsher in memory of her grandfather John Pickard and mother Caroline Pickard Culbert, 2018. Photo by Blair Clark

 

Oscar Berninghaus, Aspens and Indians on Horseback, 1920s, oil, 22 x 26 inches. Gift of Leonora Culbert Welsher in memory of her grandfather John Pickard and mother Caroline Pickard Culbert, 2018. Photo by Blair Clark

 

Gene Kloss, Taos Indian Jesters, 1950s, etching, 24 x 22 inches. Gift of Leonora Culbert Welsher in memory of her grandfather John Pickard and mother Caroline Pickard Culbert, 2018. Photo by Blair Clark

 

W. Herbert Dunton, On the Great Plains, n.d., etching, 19 x 22 inches. Gift of Leonora Culbert Welsher in memory of her grandfather John Pickard and mother Caroline Pickard Culbert, 2018. Photo by Blair Clark

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