American artist Raymond Jonson was a painter, professor and an important advocate for the abstract art movement. He was first introduced to non-representational painting while studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Chicago. When the famed Armory Show came to the city in 1913, Jonson was particularly attracted to the work and spiritual approach of Wassily Kandinsky.
In 1925, Jonson moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico to pursue painting full-time. He co-founded the Transcendental Painting Group in 1938, which aimed to explore spirituality through art and increase awareness and acceptance of non-objective painting. Jonson became a professor at the University of New Mexico, where he taught for 20 years. There, he painted six Work Projects Administration (WPA) murals and founded the Jonson Gallery, then the only space in the southwest that showed abstract art and non-representational works.