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Untitled Painting of Arroyo Seco Adobe House and Chapel [SOLD]


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Betty Jean Sabo (1928 - 2016)

Close up view of this painting.

This painting depicts the church in Arroyo Seco, which was one of Betty Sabo's favorite subjects.* Sabo loved painting mountain scenes, aspen trees, snow, and creeks or rivers.  This painting reveals the season of fall as the leaves of the aspen tree are at their golden splendor.  The Apache Plume in the foreground is beginning to prepare to go to seed, a plant that causes many to suffer from allergy symptoms.

One of Sabo’s most iconic scenes is an adobe house, or an adobe church, nestled among cottonwoods.  In this painting, Sabo combined the adobe house, adobe chapel and cottonwood tree in a single scene. She was a master at doing this, a good reason she became one of Albuquerque’s most famous and most collected artist.

Sabo, who passed away only a couple years ago, was a student at some point of Carl von Hassler, probably in the early years of her career. She was best known as a painter until later in her career, at which time she switched to sculpture.  Her paintings were so popular they were snatched up before the paint dried.

She studied art at University of New Mexico in the late 1940s and was a renowned painter before she began to create the signature bronzes in her mid-60s. The Albuquerque Museum commissioned one of her first pieces; the 1995 bronze "Julia Resting," of a woman seated on a bench outside the museum's front doors. She also sculpted the Botanical Garden work featuring Clyde and Carrie Tingley, neighbors of Sabo's when she was a child. Clyde Tingley was an early Governor of New Mexico.

Paintings by Sabo are relatively rare as those who knew her when she was a painter have tended to keep those they purchased. It has been many years since she painted, so there are no recent ones for collectors to purchase, and there will be no more.

Betty Jean Sabo (1928 - 2016) signatureSabo's legacy, other than the fine art she produced, will be her determination in 1986 to acquire for the Albuquerque Museum the large quantity of fine art amassed at her alma mater, Albuquerque High School.  Graduating classes had developed the routine of purchasing a painting for the school at graduation each year.  The school collection contained paintings by Oscar Berninghaus, Ernest Blumenschein, Bert Phillips, Carl Redin and other famous New Mexico artists.  A Santa Fe gallery was attempting to purchase the collection, but Sabo was determined it should stay in Albuquerque.  She succeeded, and that collection now resides permanently at the museum.

This painting is signed in lower left Sabo.

*Thanks to Sabo's son David Sabo for identifying the painting's subject

Condition: It appears to be in original condition.

Provenance: from a gentleman from Madison, Wisconsin

Recommended Reading: Samuels, Peggy and Harold. Contemporary Western Artists

Close up view of this painting.

Betty Jean Sabo (1928 - 2016)
C4029-paint.jpgC4029-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.