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Ina Sizer Cassidy is best remembered in New Mexico for the "Art and Artists" monthly column she wrote for New Mexico Magazine for 29 years, from 1931 to 1960. Through this column she was able to play a major role as a promoter of the arts in this state.
Mrs. Cassidy's columns ranged in subject matter from critiques of art shows and individual artists to discussions of Indian art, particular forms of art (such as lithography), or art in New Mexico schools. This broad format made her column appealing to a wide audience. Her direct, non-technical style appealed to artist and laymen alike. Through her column she encouraged self-expression by many individuals -- to her, a most important aspect of her work.
Ina learned most of what she knew about art after marrying her second husband, the artist Gerald Cassidy, in Denver in 1912. Later that year, the year of New Mexico's statehood, they moved to Santa Fe. Here Ina became immersed in New Mexico's cultural heritage and its art. In 1926, on tour abroad with her husband, she even lectured in Paris and Vienna on art and history of the American Southwest.
Ina and Gerald Cassidy were important figures in the growth and development of Santa Fe's art colony. Ina herself was a sculptress and a prize-winning poet, and Gerald, a notable painter and lithographer. In their home on Canyon Road, they welcomed and encouraged new artists on the Santa Fe scene.
After her husband's desth in 1934, while continuing to write her monthly art column, Ina participated in many projects and organizations for development and preservation of New Mexico's culture and historical heritage. Among these projects were the WPA Federal Writer's Project (state director, 1935-1939) which published the first annual calendar of events in New Mexico; the 1940 Coronado Cuatro-Centennial Celebration (playwriting chairman, 1940); and the New Mexico Folklore Society in which she promoted Spanish folk art, and a dictionary of New Mexico place names.
Ina was born to pioneer parents in Colorado. Her own pioneer spirit led her to campaign for woman suffrage in Detroit and New York. When she returned to Denver and married Gerald Cassidy, this spirit again led her into an active career in New Mexico. Her enthusiasm for this state -- its traditions, cultures, and art -- was spready widely through her column and her numerous volunteer activities.
Ina Sizer Cassidy, "Art and Artists in New Mexico," New Mexico Magazine, columns written monthly from 1931 through 1960.
"Ina Sizer Cassidy, Lady of Contrasts," The Santa Fe Scene, Dec. 13, 1958, p. 6-9.
T.M. Pearce, "Ina Sizer Cassidy: A Tribute," program from the presentation of the Gerald Cassidy Memorial Art Library, Jan. 25, 1945, College of Fine Arts, University of New Mexico.
George Fitzpatrick, "Ina Sizer Cassidy," New Mexico Magazine, Feb. 1966, p. 34.
News clippings, Albuquerque Public Library and the Fine Arts Library, Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe, files on Ina Sizer Cassidy.
History | Women's History
Folders 7 and 8
American Association of University Women-New Mexico. "Ina Sizer Cassidy." (1976). http://digitalrepository.unm.edu/nm_women_aauw/2