Most Santa Feans know Will Shuster as the father of Zozobra. But how many people realize he was part of a close-knit circle of artists who exchanged handmade holiday cards during the first half of the 20th century?
A New Year’s card from Shuster and his wife sent in 1944 shows a photograph of the artist inside a head of Zozobra that looks like Japanese Emperor Hirohito. The card would be deemed politically incorrect by today’s standards, but we must remember that the U.S. was at war with Japan at the time.
Shuster’s Hirohito card is one of about 200 in an album once owned by Santa Fe socialite and author Elizabeth Willis DeHuff that was bequeathed to the New Mexico Museum of Art. The album was on display at an open house held in the museum’s library on Dec. 4.