Raymond Jonson is best known as the founder of the Transcendental Painters Group in Santa Fe, where he settled in 1924 and painted works that were pure abstraction. Before this time, he was in Chicago for fourteen years and there had many formative experiences that led to his later career. His mentor in Chicago was modernist B.J.O. Nordfeldt, and he was much affected by the Armory Show Exhibition of 1913 when it traveled to Chicago. For five years, Jonson was at the city’s avant-garde Little Theatre, where he was a set and lighting designer.
However, he left Chicago to avoid “crowds, dirt, and chaos of the city for peace, serenity and closeness to nature that he could find in Santa Fe.”
Elizabeth Kennedy, Chicago Modern, 1893-1945