Elmer Leslie Tanzey, Nevada Landscape, 1917
Pastel on board, measures 13" wide by 10" high, signed and dated on reverse.
Elmer Leslie Tanzey 1877-1958, born in Ohio, lived in Nevada and Los Angeles, California, died and buried in Los Angeles.
Elmer L. Tanzey was a Tonopah, Nevada painter, banker, accountant, and insurance man, well known at the time for his landscapes of the Nevada desert.
“Elmer Tanzey, the artist, who has been identified with the insurance business in camp for the past twelve years, left today for the Coast, where he will make his home, with his mother and sister in Los Angeles. Tanzey has established himself as one of the best known Western artists through his pastels depicting desert scenes, Tanzey's love of the desert amounts to a worship, for he spends days f .id nights in a cabin he furnished some years ago on one of the adjacent slopes, where he has an unobstructed view of the desert vista for miles in every direction.”
"THE COLORING OF THE DESERT
ELSEWHERE in this issue appears a beautiful word picture of
what might at first thought be classed as the most austere and
colorless acreage on God's footstool, the dry bed of Lahontan lake,
Nevada's erstwhile inland sea . Yet the writer, despite his splendid,
verbal portraiture, does not, and would himself confess that he
could not, do the subject justice any more than could the skillful
artist limn the setting sun, the despair of art in all centuries.
The poet who described the Nevada scenery as "all dead and
dread and desolate 'and drear" must have gained his inspiration
through crossing the state, at night, wrapt in slumber. There is a
gorgeousness of color, particularly at dawn, , or when there is a
haze in the sky at sunset, that is indescribable and unpaintable.
Elmer Tanzy and other local artists have tried to catch the inspira
tion and have to a certain extent succeeded. They are criticised,
however, for over coloring, but that was not their error. There
are times when the Nevada scenery could not be overcolored. It
revels particularly in the blues and purples. They must be seen
at the period between dawn and sunrise from the summit of one of
the encircling hills to be fully appreciated."
"Reno Gazette-Journal from Reno, Nevada on September 30, 1918 · Page 6." Newspapers.com. Accessed January 20, 2017. https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/147588613/.
"Tonopah daily bonanza. (Tonopah, Nev.) 1906-1929, October 26, 1916, Page TWO, Image 2." News about Chronicling America RSS. Accessed January 20, 2017. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86076142/1916-10-26/ed-1/seq-2/.