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Early 20th Century and Taos Society of Artists Learn More

By 1912, Blumenschein, Oscar E. Berninghaus, E. Irving Couse, W. Herbert 'Buck' Dunton, and Joseph Sharp had arrived in Taos. These five plus Phillips shared a strong attraction to Taos and formalized their relationship by creating the Taos Society of Artists, which existed from 1915 to 1927. The Society sent traveling shows of its Members' works throughout the country. The images they created, frequently of American Indians in traditional garb, northern New Mexico Hispanos and old-timer Anglo-Americans, as well as landscapes, came to define the first decades of the art colony.


Artist: E. Martin Hennings
Title: Chamisa in Bloom
Date: c. 1920
Medium: Oil painting
Dimensions: Overall: 30 x 36 1/4 in. (76.2 x 92 cm)
E. Martin Hennings (1886-1956)
c. 1920
E. Martin Hennings
Artist: Joseph Henry Sharp
Title: Chant To The Warbonnet
Date: c. 1920
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: Overall: 25 x 30 1/8 in. (63.5 x 76.5 cm) frame: 29 5/8 x 34 5/8 in. (75.2 x 87.9 cm)
Joseph Henry Sharp (1859-1953)
c. 1920
Joseph Henry Sharp
Artist: Ernest L. Blumenschein
Title: Deserted Mining Camp
Date: c.1940
Medium: oil painting, canvas
Dimensions: Overall: 27 1/16 x 33 1/4 in. (68.7 x 84.5 cm)
Ernest L. Blumenschein (1874-1960)
Ernest Blumenschein, American artist, was a colorful and controversial figure whose character was marked by fierce determination. A supporter of Post-Impressionism, Ernest Blumenschein’s own style is marked by the use of deep, rich colors and a strict sense of spatial geometry and rhythm. Possibly the most complex and least understood member of the TaosSociety, Ernest L Blumenschein’s southwestern pictures were born of the artist’s interest in formal integrity and harmony rather than a desire to accurately portray pueblo culture.

Similar to several of his later Taos colleagues, Ernest Blumenschein was of modest Midwesterner beginnings. He was born inPittsburgh, PA and earned a scholarship to study at the Cincinnati College of Music after graduating from high school. He took an illustration class at the Cincinnati Art Academy and decided to pursue a career in the visual arts. In 1892, he moved to New York to study at the Art Students League. He soon became convinced that European study was necessary to establish himself as a professional artist and enrolled at the Academie Julian in Paris, where he became acquainted with Bert Phillips and J.H. Sharp. Sharp regaled the younger artists with tales of his 1893 visit to Taos.

Upon his return from Paris in 1896, Blumenschein worked as an illustrator in New York, where he shared a studio with Phillips. After and assignment that took him to Arizona and New Mexico, Blumenschein went west with Phillips in 1898. When a broken wagon wheel landed the artists in the nearby town of Taos, Phillips decided he had reached the end of his journey.

Blumenschein stayed in Taos for 3 months returning to his lucrative illustration career in New York and eventually to Paris for further study at the Academie Julian in 1899. During his stay in New York he met Mary Green and married her. She was an established artist whose work was often featured in the annual Salon.

After their return to New York in 1909, the couple worked as an illustration team and Blumenschein taught at the Art Students League. He began to spend his summers in Taos, New Mexico, and settled there permanently in 1919.

Ernest L. Blumenschein
Artist: W. Herbert "Buck" Dunton
Title: Ginger
Date: c. 1932
Medium: Oil painting
Dimensions: Overall: 50 13/16 x 33 7/8 in. (129 x 86 cm)
W. Herbert "Buck" Dunton United States (1878-1936)
c. 1932
W. Herbert "Buck" Dunton
Artist: Kenneth Adams
Title: Muchacho
Date: c. 1930
Medium: Oil painting
Dimensions: 20 1/16 x 16 1/16 in. (51 x 40.8 cm) Framed: 26 × 22 × 1 1/2 in. (66 × 55.9 × 3.8 cm)
Kenneth Adams United States (1897-1966)

c. 1930
Kenneth Adams
Artist: John Young-Hunter
Title: Portrait of Mabel Dodge Luhan
Date: c. 1930
Medium: Oil painting canvas
Dimensions: Overall: 36 x 26 in. (91.5 x 66 cm) frame: 46 x 36 in. (116.8 x 91.4 cm)
John Young-Hunter (1874-1955)
c. 1930
John Young-Hunter
Artist: Oscar E. Berninghaus
Title: Santiago, the War Chief
Date: c.1930
Medium: Oil painting
Dimensions: Overall: 30 x 34 1/16 in. (76.2 x 86.5 cm)
Oscar E. Berninghaus United States (1874-1952)
Oscar E. Berninghaus
Artist: E. Irving Couse
Title: The Cacique
Date: c. 1932
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: Overall: 34 5/8 x 45 11/16 in. (88 x 116 cm) Framed: 41 1/2 x 52 in.
E. Irving Couse (1866-1936)
c. 1932
E. Irving Couse
Artist: Juan Tafiho Mirabal
Title: Untitled
Date: c. 1930
Medium: Oil on panel
Dimensions: Framed: 46 1/4 × 97 1/4 × 2 in. (117.5 × 247 × 5.1 cm)
Juan Tafiho Mirabal (1903-1981)
c. 1930
Juan Tafiho Mirabal
Artist: Victor Higgins
Title: Winter Funeral
Date: c. 1931
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: Framed: 51 1/4 × 64 1/2 × 2 1/2 in. (130.2 × 163.8 × 6.4 cm)
Victor Higgins (1884-1949)
c. 1931
Victor Higgins