Sitting at the base of imposing Franklin Mountains, El Paso is a thriving city on the border land of Texas. It was about an hour and half drive from Columbus, New Mexico. We had lunch at the famous State Line restaurant which was established in 1975. The retro décor and dim lights created a nostalgic dining environment. Their beef briskets were tender, smoky and absolutely delicious.
El Paso Museum of Art is free and has some good art collections. Current exhibition features Frank Lloyd Wright: Architecture of the Interior, and Tom Lea Watercolors and Washes. To commemorate the 150th birthday of Frank Lloyd Wright, a collection of Wright’s drawings and photos of house plans, architectural and interior designs were on display. Wright incorporated innovative techniques to accomplish the open space concept in his designs. A “window wall” with tall and narrow windows connects the interior with the natural world outside. Built-in functional, multi-purpose architectural furnishings maximize space. Light either natural or artificial were designed to increase the feeling of open space. The Taliesin floor lamp Wright designed for his home emitted soft indirect lights. It was made of plywood sheets and rectangular light boxes. However, Wright’s abstract and geometric furniture that reflect the aesthetic of the building are less comfortable. Wrights’ style was underlined by rectiliniarity in his early career and geometric forms in his later designs. Wright promoted the concept of “organic Architecture” that is in harmony with its natural surroundings.
Thomas Calloway Lea (Tom Lea) was a proud son of El Paso. The exhibition showcased his ink wash portraits of American soldiers in World War II, horses, and some paintings. Tom Leas was also a muralist, war correspondent, and novelist. The portraits of soldiers won him a full-time job with Life magazine as an artist-correspondent in the war.
The huge 3D digital wall by the entrance of El Paso Museum of History was interesting. It has a vast collection of images and videos of El Paso. I input Tom Lea and images of the artist popped up. I also took a photo of me with the image on the digital wall and emailed it to myself. Cool!
My first visit to El Paso was pleasant. We might come back and explore it again.