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Leon Gaspard

Leon Schulman Gaspard was a Russian-born painter, known for his paintings of indigenous cultures and folk traditions. He tended to paint scenes with throngs of people, and his favorite locations were in small towns in Russia, Asia, and the Taos Valley. He spent his youth in Russia and later studied in Paris, where he became a well-respected painter. He moved with his wife, American ballerina Evelyn Adell, to the United States. They eventually settled in Taos, New Mexico, though he continued to devote much of his time to traveling to paint in remote locations.

Gaspard found artistic success in Taos, which became an international art center during his lifetime, due to the presence of contemporary painters such as Joseph Henry Sharp and E. Irving Couse, and the founding of the Taos Society of Artists. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Gaspard continued to paint Russia, and far off places, rather than focus on the local Native Americans and landscape. Though an anomaly, Gaspard’s work was respected; in 1961, Gaspard had a one-man show in Taos. His work sold steadily in New York, Detroit, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and he was well-known and financially successful.