Leon GASPARD (born March 2, 1882, Vitebsk, Russia [present-day Belarus]–died February 21, 1964, Taos, New Mexico) arrived in New Mexico in 1918. Russian-born and French-trained, Gaspard moved to Taos, New Mexico seeking a more hospitable climate and arrived to find a vibrant arts community and an exotic blend of Native, Western and Hispanic cultures. Because of Gaspard's prior travels through Mongolia, Tibet and North Africa, he had a love of foreign cultures and a desire to document them artistically. Taos allowed him this opportunity, and he set out to paint the Taos Indians the same way he had painted the inhabitants of North Africa and Inner Asia. His work is noted for its brilliant color, intricate patterning and combined elements of French Impressionism and Realism.