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Jean Seth

Jean Seth

Honored June, 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jean Seth

"Pioneer" is a word often used to describe Jean Seth, and the word fits her well. Indeed, her father was a pioneer in the fullest sense of the word, for as a young man in 1899 he sailed with four brothers from Scotland to America, where they took up sheep farming in New Mexico. He married and started a family, but just before Jean was born, he died in an accident. The family moved to Albuquer-que and then Santa Fe, where Jean and her older brothers grew up.

"I was the busiest kid in Santa Fe," Jean recalled later, "Fencing, riding, dancing and piano lessons. My mother wanted me to be a lady, and a darling ballet dancer. But I was a tomboy." Many of her friends were children of artists, and she came to know that world well. It was formative in shaping the course of her life.

After college she lived two years in New York City during World War II, but then returned home. In 1946 she married Oliver Seth, a rising young lawyer. With their two daughters the couple loved to travel through Indian land, where they befriended many artists and began collecting baskets, paintings and other art. Jean soon noticed that "what I liked, other people liked." She called it "my one gift."