Harold Joe Waldrum Biography

Harold Joe Waldrum




Harold Joe Waldrum was born in Savoy, Texas on August 23, 1934. He studied music at the Western State College, Gunnison CO, getting a BA. He received a Masters in Art from Fort Hays State College, Hays, Kansas. He eventually moved to Taos, New Mexico where he became noted for his abstract works depicting color studies and the old adobe churches of Northern New Mexico. By the early 1980s Waldrum had become established in Taos, working in the studio that had been built in 1915 by Taos painter Joseph Henry Sharp.


Waldrum began using a Polorid SX-70 camera to capture angles and light conditions, but soon the photographs became artworks in their own right. He established the El Valle Foundation in 1985 and began working to preserve the buildings that had inspired many of his paintings. Some churches were saved through the efforts of this foundation.


In 1989 Waldrum moved farther south, to a ranch in the mountains between Albuquerque and Socorro, New Mexico, where he lived until 1997. During that time, he engaged master printer Robert Blanchard Albuquerque to assist him in creating an expansive series of aquatint etchings and linocuts based on his abstract architectural depictions.

In 1997 Waldrum moved to Truth or Consequence, New Mexico and established Rio Bravo Fine Art Gallery. His gallery continues in operation today, run by his daughter, showing artists of the region.


Waldrum’s works are held in the collections of the Museum of New Mexico, the Palm Springs Art Museum, the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, a nd the Harwood Foundation of Taos, New Mexico.


Harold Joe Waldrum died on December 13, 2003 in Truth of Consequences.