Jimmy Swinnerton

Jimmy Swinnerton_The Mittens Monument Valley.jpg
Jimmy Swinnerton_The Mittens Monument Valley.jpg

Jimmy Swinnerton


Monument Valley - Mittens, c.1920s-30s

- Oil on canvas
- Canvas: 30” high x 40” wide
- Frame: 37" high x 47” wide
- Signed lower right

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About the work

Housed in a carved gold gilt frame, likely original to the work.  

James "Jimmy" Guilford Swinnerton (1875-1974) explored and painted the remote desert regions of the Southwest, most notably in New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and the area around Palm Springs. 

His long association with the desert began in 1903 when he moved to Palm Springs to recuperate from a combination of exhaustion, alcoholism, and tuberculosis. He became a lodger and great favorite of Mrs. Nellie Coffman, owner of the Desert Inn. The desert restored his health and inspired him to become a landscape painter. The mysterious qualities of the desert proved an irresistible subject of his artistic output for more than 45 years, earning him the title of "the Dean of desert painters.”

Swinnerton made frequent trips to the Navajo country where “Swinnerton Arch” in Monument Valley is named for him. On one such trip he painted his dramatic view of the famous steeply-sloped Mittens buttes. When viewed from the south, the buttes appear to be two gigantic mittens with their thumbs facing inwards. The area is one of the most photographed points on earth. 

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