Remembering Ann Baumann

Observant visitors to our main exhibition, Telling New Mexico: Stories from Then and Now, may have noticed the late-18th-century horse-and-rider toy in an exhibit case with other playthings of the era. Extra-observant visitors may have noticed a name on the label marking who gave the toy to us: Ann Baumann.

The daughter of famed artist and printer Gustave Baumann was an especially kind friend of the museum, which houses a recreation of her father’s Santa Fe studio in the Palace Press. (A video accompanying the exhibit includes an interview with Ann.) She also donated her father’s paper archives to the museum’sFray Angélico Chávez History Library.

The role she played in her father’s artwork and the life she lived in a house bursting with creativity was detailed by Carmella Padilla in a 2009 El Palacio magazine article. “A home full of art was the only home I knew,” she said in the article.

As a child, Ann served as a model for many of the marionettes her father carved–some of which are now held by the New Mexico Museum of Art. (Replicas of them come out to play once a year at the museum’s Holiday Open House, this year from 1-4 pm on December. 18.)

On view through March 18 at the Museum of Art is The Prints of Gustave Baumann. The Historic Santa Fe Foundation owns Baumann’s 1923 Santa Fe house and opens it for tours occasionally.

Ann passed away earlier this month at her home in Santa Rosa, Calif., and we wanted to honor her time here. Here is a story about her that appeared in this week’s Santa Fe New Mexican. Below is an obituary prepared for her. We join those who knew her in wishing her well on this leg of her journey.

Ann Baumann, philanthropist, social worker, and community activist, passed away peacefully with friends by her side on November 15, 2011, in Santa Rosa, California. Friends will miss her humor, frankness, compassion, and grammatical correctitude. Ann was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico to artistic parents on July 31, 1927. As a child she was introduced to poets, painters, patrons, musicians, opera singers, playwrights, and social activism. Ann attended public school in Santa Fe before her parents enrolled her in Sandia Preparatory School in Albuquerque. She left New Mexico in 1944 to attend Bradford Junior College in Bradford, Massachusetts. Upon graduation she returned to California settling in Pasadena while working at International House. Ann enrolled at the University of California Berkeley in 1956, earning her B.A. in Psychology in 1958 and her Masters degree in Medical Social Work in 1961. She was resident of Sonoma County since 1964, where she worked for the State of California and the County of Sonoma as a medical and psychiatric social worker.
A believer in giving to those in need as well as to her community, Ann gave generously to various charities and worthy organizations. At the local level she was a patron of the Santa Rosa Symphony and a generous supporter of the Sonoma Land Trust. She did not forget her hometown and made generous contributions to the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, the Santa Fe Opera, and Historic Santa Fe, which purchased and restored her family home.
The American Association of Blood Banks honored and saluted Ann “for noble generosity to the ill and injured over many years through the unselfish donation of 10 gallons of blood.” Ann was also honored by Bradford College for her commitment to serving and helping others.
Her father, Gustave Baumann, was an artist now famous for his color woodcuts depicting the American landscape and her mother, Jane Henderson Baumann, was an opera singer, stage actress, and community activist. Ann safeguarded and promoted her father’s legacy with donations of his work to the British Museum; Cleveland Art Museum; Georgia Museum of Art; Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University; Indianapolis Museum; Library of Congress; New Mexico Museum of Art; New Mexico History Museum; and the Worcester Art Museum.
Ann was a charter member of the Society for Clinical Social Work and served on its Board of Directors. As a member of the local chapter of Soroptimist International, she served on its Board of Directors for three terms and was considered a life member. Ann was also a member of the Sonoma County Council for Community Services and the League of Women Voters of Sonoma County.
A celebration of Ann’s life is planned for Sunday, December 11, 2011, between 3 and 4 p.m. at Friends House, Commons B, 684 Benicia Drive, Santa Rosa. Please RSVP to Doris Davidson at 707-537-0891 or 707-490-7055. Friends are encouraged to make memorial donations to charitable organizations of their choosing.