Maynard Dixon, c. 1906
Maynard Dixon was born in 1875 in Fresno, California. He trained as an artist in the early 1890s and was a successful illustrator for the rest of the decade. Dixon admired the scenery of the American West and began to make tonalist and impressionist paintings of its landscapes. In the 1920s, he shifted to a Precisionism style, influenced by his then-wife Dorothea Lange. Many of Dixon's works included Native Americans and sometimes lived in their reservations and the surrounding, undeveloped land. Dixon married Edith Hamlin, a noted muralist from San Francisco, California in 1937. Over two hundred of Dixon's works were hosted in museums and art galleries before his death in 1946.
The Dixons moved to Mt. Carmel, Utah in 1939. Maynard first visited the area in 1933 and made several paintings of the small town. Mt. Carmel also proved to be an ideal launching area for excursions to Zion National Park, a place that proved to be an inspiration for several of his most popular works. Maynard made plans to return to Mt. Carmel almost as soon as he married Edith. They purchased an adjoining lot and built a wine cellar and guesthouse. The Dixons spent summers in the Mt. Carmel home and wintered in Tucson, Arizona.
Maynard Dixon last visited the home in 1945; his failing health from emphysema forced him to stay in Tucson that summer and he died in his Tucson residence on November 11, 1946. The next year, Edith buried his ashes beneath a boulder at the Mt. Carmel home and installed a memorial plaque. Edith continued to summer in the Mt. Carmel home, adding a large paint studio in 1948. She re-married in 1951 and moved back to San Francisco in 1953. She later painted the murals of Coit Tower. Edith sold the property to her friend, the famed watercolor artist Milford Zornes. Zornes occasionally used the property's studio for his own works. He sold the house to the Binghams, who restored the building and the property.