Santa Fe Living Treasures – Elder Stories

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Myrtle Stedman

Myrtle Stedman


Honored March, 1985

Myrtle Stedman

A painter, a poet, and a writer, Myrtle Stedman is best known for the work in adobe restoration and design she began shortly after arriving in Tesuque in 1934, with her artist husband, Wilfred Stedman.

Ina Sizer Cassidy described the remarkable Stedmans in those years "They are both artists, both good ones, and as they are united in their art as well as in matrimony they are not to be separated when writing about them. Their studio home among the apple trees on their fruit ranch at Tesuque on Highway 64 reflects this Ôtogetherness,' for they are that rare combination in life, fifty-fifty, partners, in their art, their home and their two small sons."

Born in 1908, Myrtle, the daughter of a builder, met the prominent English painter, designer, and illustrator Wilfred while studying art in Houston. He was sixteen years her senior. After they married, they transformed their ancient adobe home in the apple orchard, and built new adobe houses, which they rented to artists and writers. They also carved their own furniture and gardened, living lives of great self-sufficiency.

In 1948, Myrtle, one of the first and only licensed women contractors in New Mexico, also built the adobe home where she still resides.

Please see Volume 1 for complete text.
Photo ©1997 by Joanne Rijmes