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Saltillo - Mexico

Charles Eames


When Charles returned from living in Mexico, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published a full-page article with many of his watercolors. This example was not included in the newspaper, but was gifted to Vincent Franks, Charles’s brother-in-law. Vincent presided over Charles’s marriage to Catherine Woermann five years earlier.

The watercolor is signed “TO VINCENT, CHARLES O. EAMES ’34” in the bottom left corner and “SALTILLO - MEXICO” is written on mounting paper.

  • Medium:Watercolor on paper
  • Dimensions:11 1/4 x 8 1/2 in. (28.6 x 21.6 cm)
  • Item:2019.1.52
Curatorial Notes
Charles’s focus on architecture is evident in the paintings and watercolors done during his time in Mexico, where the toils of the American Depression could be momentarily left behind. This straightforward yet lyrical rendering of the noted Baroque Catholic cathedral, situated in the historic center of the city of Saltillo, highlights the bell tower and surrounding shady public plaza. Upon returning home, Charles re-established his architectural business and successfully exhibited the works from his so called “Mexican diary” in Virginia and New York. Just a few short years after painting the Saltillo cathedral, Charles would go on to design two churches in Arkansas, including the church of St. Mary in Helena. For this Roman Catholic church, he also designed elaborate brickwork, interior fittings, vestments, and vessels, which was in alignment with Gesamtkunstwerk principles that encouraged a focus on the totality of a given project.

Rachael Blackburn Cozad