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Everett Ruess: A Wanderer in the Wilderness


The Wildling Art Museum, America's Wilderness in Art, opened a new exhibit on December 2, 2000: Everett Ruess, A Wanderer in the Wilderness. Everett Ruess, 1914-1934, was enchanted with the beauty of nature. He traveled along the California coast, to the sierras, and into the desert in search of the wonders of nature. Everett disappeared in the canyon country of southern Utah before his 21st birthday and was never found.

Everett has become a legend and we wonder at the art and writing of one so young. He rejected society and went into the desert with his burros and a dog named Curly. His letters back to his family and friends are lyrical and have vivid descriptions of what he saw in his travels. He did sketches, watercolors and block prints. (left: Everett Ruess, Canyon del Muerto, 6/50)

W. L. Rusho, in Everett Ruess: A Vagabond for Beauty (Peregrine Smith Books, 1983), writes: "Everett's greatest value was his ability to see, and then articulate, the magnitude, color, and changing moods of nature. If he was good at describing the the high Sierras (and he was), he was superlative in his description of the red rock deserts of northern Arizona southern Utah. His astonishing ability to awake in a reader those feelings one has when confronting the land, coupled with the mystery of his vanishing, have prompted the suggestion that he might have been a mystic."

The exhibit includes a series of 25 prints along with some of Everett's letters and memorabilia. Three books have been written about him and a feature-length film, "Forever Lost," was created by Diane Orr. The exhibit will be on view through February 27, 2001. (right: Everett Ruess, Square Tower House, Mesa Verde, 6/50)


Editor's note:

RL readers may also enjoy an image of Square Tower House, Mesa Verde from the TFAO photo library.

For further biographical information please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

Please click on thumbnail images bordered by a red line to see enlargements.

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This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 4/27/11

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