Gene Kloss (1903-1996), née Alice Geneva Glasier, grew up in Oakland to Midestern Parents, in a practicing Christian family. She even met her future husband, the pastor’s son, in church. She studied painting and etching at the University of California from 1921 to 1924 and was married in 1925. The young couple settled in homes in the Bay Area, in Oakland, Berkeley, and in Carmel on occasion. As early as 1925, during their honeymoon, Gene and her husband spent extended periods of time in New Mexico every year. They would eventually settle there in 1960. As soon as she graduated, Gene Kloss found an audience for her etchings and watercolors. She had numerous shows, first in the Bay Area, but eventually all over the country, and her work was even included in shows abroad. She was one of few women of her time to receive such honors, as well as awards from the California Society of Etchers, The Society of American Graphic Artists, or the Chicago Society of Etchers. Her etchings were only printed monochromatically, focusing on light, and contrasting darkness. Figures, mostly people encountered in the pueblos, Native American dances and other rituals, as well as the pueblos themselves, and the wider Western landscape, are the focal points of her etchings. She was a prolific printmaker, however, and cannot be reduced to this simple enumeration of subjects. Many of her 600 plus compositions focus on spirituality and the transcendent aspects of life. She is one of the most important printmakers of the American west, and a precocious ambassador of women’s talent in the arts in the early part of the 20th century.
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