It may be a sign of Carl Von Hassler’s elusive nature that in their respective obituaries the two Albuquerque papers gave different dates for his death. While much has been opined about this denizen of Albuquerque’s downtown of the fifties, not much that can be documented is known about him personally other than that he was a skillful and vigorous painter of the New Mexico landscape.
At their best, his landscapes, often of the area around Trampas, have a strength and similitude that bring the character of northern New Mexico before the advent of paved roads to life. The two paintings in the collection of the Modrall law firm are good examples. In “Large Autumn Scene,” shown here, the cottonwoods in fall color provide the adobe dwellings in their quiet villages with a seasonal halo that lifts our eyes and spirits to the foothills and peaks under the dramatic sky beyond.