Fred R. Kline Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico


Lloyd L. Goff (1908-1982)

Rocky Mountain River (Jemez), 1942-44, New Mexico

25 x 36 inches

Oil on canvas/ with original hand-carved Goff frame

Signed, titled, dated 1942-44



Purchased from the artist, 1960's

Collection of Jose Ortiz y Pino, Galisteo,NM

Fred R. Kline Gallery, Santa Fe

Private Collection



Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1942)

San Francisco Museum of Fine Arts (1943)

Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe (Statewide traveling exhibition, 1944-45)

Fred R. Kline Gallery, "Selected Works", 2001

                                 * * *

Rocky Mountain River, perhaps Goff's finest New Mexico painting and a significant American painting from the WWII-period, suggests the influence of Marsden Hartley and continues Goff's development of his most significant theme—the forces of nature. Goff exhibited Rocky Mountain River in several museums during WWII and kept it in his personal collection for twenty years.

The traditional notion of the urban and rural American scene paintings of the 1930's and 1940's is extended in Rocky Mountain River to include the wilderness—into the heart of a turbulent and chaotic river in the Jemez Mountains not far from Santa Fe and Los Alamos where the Manhattan Project secretly began in 1942. Tiny human figures cross the river percariously balancing on a fallen tree, suggesting a bridge over troubled wartime waters. The bold expressionist quality of the scattered fallen trees, the massive dark boulders, and the dynamic waters suggest a relationship to the soon to come abstract expressionism of the New York School.

Goff's art career began in Dallas, Texas where his talent was early recognized by Frank Reaugh and others.  He was among the legendary group known as "The Dallas Nine", formed in 1932.  From 1936—when he began studies in New York at the Art Students League with George Grosz and Kenneth Hayes Miller—and up to his death in 1982, Goff maintained a studio in New York. In 1939, Goff was chosen to exhibit works at the New York World's Fair and that same year the Whitney Museum of American Art purchased one of his paintings—a milestone for a Texas artist at that time. In 1940, he moved to New Mexico and began studies and teaching at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. His time was divided between New Mexico and New York for the remainder of his life, although he always steadfastly insisted that he was a "Texas artist".

Goff was a WPA artist and made a significant contribution to mural painting during the 1930's and 1940's, painting his own commissions, as well as assisting Paul Cadmus, Reginald Marsh, and Edward Laning on important commissions they had received. His murals are preserved across the United States and in Canada, and his paintings, drawings, and lithographs are in the permanent collections of many museums, including: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dallas Museum of Art, Museum of New Mexico, Library of Congress, Whitney Museum of American Art, Albuquerque Museum, and many others.



Sold to a distinguished Texas private collection

 Back to Thumbnails