A graduate of Scripps College, Susan Lautmann Hertel (1930-1993) raised her family, painted, and wrote poetry on ranches in Glendora, California, and Cerrillos, New Mexico. Inspired by daily life on the ranch, her art depicts the pleasure she took in ranch life, her relationships with her animals, and her reverence for the landscape. While at Scripps from 1948 to 1952, Hertel flourished. She was guided by her professors, particularly Millard Sheets and Henry McFee. Both Sheets and McFee continued to mentor Hertel after graduation. Her use of formal elements throughout her career, especially color and shape, also shows the strong influence of her studies of design while at Scripps. As a young artist after college, Hertel also worked with Max Yavno, taking courses with him at the Kann Institute. She traveled to Europe in the mid-1950s, and afterwards stressed the influence of the art of Pierre Bonnard and Paul Gauguin on her work.
While living in Glendora from 1958 to 1980, Hertel took on a number of public art projects, including designing mosaic murals for Home Savings of America bank buildings throughout California, and produced individual paintings. After her move to a ranch in Cerrillos, New Mexico, in 1980, Hertel worked entirely on individual paintings. Many of her most profoundly serene images, depicting animals in the starkly beautiful New Mexico landscape, were produced during the last years of her life. She also taught and practiced Kundalini yoga, and while her works are secular, they are nevertheless informed by the philosophies of this spiritual practice. Hertel had well-received solo shows at a number of institutions, including the Pasadena Museum of Art and the Long Beach Museum of Art. The Hertel works in Pitzer College’s collection form a triptych.
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.