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Salon El Zaguán: Seton Documentary at Violet Crown

  • Violet Crown Cinema 1606 Alcaldesa Street Santa Fe, NM, 87501 United States (map)

Members of HSFF and The Academy for the Love of Learning
Salon El Zaguán at Violet Crown Cinema
Seating is limited – RSVP required

Ernest Thompson Seton and the Exploration of Canada’s Fabled Aylmer Lake

Showing of this documentary by David L. Witt, Curator of Seton Legacy Project will be on Tuesday, November 29th, 10am at Violet Crown Cinema in the Santera Fe Railyard, 1606 Alcaldesca St.

About the Documentary

In a highlight of his extraordinary life as an artist, writer, and scientist, Ernest Thompson Seton in 1907 led a daring expedition into the Arctic wilderness of the Northwest Territories. Seton, then 47 years old, was a famous celebrity, the most important wildlife illustrator of his generation, a best selling author, a co-founder of the wildlife conservation movement, co-founder of the world-wide Scouting movement, and a leading figure in the emerging sciences of ecology and ethology. He explored an area unknown to the outside world, documenting its wildlife and determining the geography of the remote lake, Aylmer.

I led an expedition to the lake in 2015; its goal was to relocate and document the important places Seton had visited 108 years earlier. The resulting film includes Seton’s 1907 photos and drawings supplemented by contemporary still and video images. Most of the film’s narration is provided by actors telling the story of the first expedition in the words of Seton and Preble.

The narration by Seton and Preble describe the majestic scenery and the wildlife paradise they encountered. While this film is primarily a historic recounting, it does include an environmental message. Aylmer’s scenery remains as breathtaking now as it was then, but the wildlife is largely absent―an outcome of climate disruption and other causes.

The Aylmer film reintroduces an artist/naturalist whose adventures are as compelling today as they were when first published.

View the trailer for the documentary here

About David L. Witt

For the past eleven years David L. Witt has been curator of the Seton Legacy Project at the Academy for the Love of Learning in Santa Fe. He oversees research, collections, exhibitions, films and other educational programming related to the art, writings, and philosophy of artist/naturalist Ernest Thompson Seton (1860-1946). He writes a blog that explores many aspects of his subject’s life and interests.

Witt is the founder of the Southwest Art History Conference (1986) and former curator of the University of New Mexico’s Harwood Museum of Art in Taos (1979-2005). He has written scores of articles and produced over two hundred exhibitions on the art and art history of New Mexico. He holds degrees from Kansas State University and the University of Oklahoma.

He is the author of four award-winning books: Ernest Thompson Seton, The Life and Legacy of an Artist and Conservationist (2010), Modernists in Taos from Dasburg to Martin (2002), Spirit Ascendant: The Art and Life of Patrociño Barela (1996), and Taos Moderns: Art of the New (1992). His Radical Natural History blog includes nature photography plus writings on environmental topics and systems philosophy.

To RSVP: Please call or email us at 505.983.2567 or You may also visit the HSFF office at 545 Canyon Road, Suite 2, Monday - Friday from 10am-5pm. We are closed on Saturday and Sunday.


Later Event: December 24
Annual Canyon Road Farolito Walk