This exploration of the work of the American painter Emil Bisttram reconstructs the artistic and spiritual environments of the artist''s two main periods, New York in the 1920s, and Taos, N.M., in the 1930s. Bisttram''s New York circle included figures involved in dynamic symmetry, theosophy, and Swedenborgnianm, including Jay Hambidge (dynamic symmetry), Howard Giles (Swedenborgianism), Nicholas Roerich (symbolism, theosophy), Claude Bragdon (dynamic symmetry, theosophy), and Vishwanath Keskar, an Indian guru (theosophy). Bisttram''s subsequent study with Diego Rivera in Mexico City (1931), gave him the artistic training he needed to execute major artistic works. His move to Taos brought him into contact with a new cultural milieu dominated by Mabel Dodge Luhan. In Taos he was an early exponent of modernist painting, executing major portrait subjects, modernist and abstract interpretations of Native American dances, occult themes, and non-objective works. He also was a founder of the Transcendental Painting Group (1938), which included Raymond Jonson, Lawren Harris, Agnes Pelton, and others, with Dane Rudhyar as writer.