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The line dividing one era from another often cannot be defined precisely. The decades of the sixties and seventies witnessed the death of people who had once been of great significance to the Taos art community and the arrival of new persons who would become so. Mabel Dodge Luhan died in 1962 and when Andrew Dasburg, Emil Bisttram, and Dorothy Brett died during the 1970s, the living connection to the earliest decades of the art community passed into history. Artists new to Taos would make strong artistic statements about the region or probe the contemporary barriers of the art world.

The catalysts for the early 1970s influx of artists was the arrival of Dennis Hopper in 1970. After shooting the movie Easy Rider, Hopper stayed in Taos and made the rough cut for the film. He eventually bought the Mabel Dodge Luhan house and has stated that his guest list rivaled that of Mabel's as many artists, musicians and Hollywood personalities made frequent visits to Taos. Contemporary artists such as Ken Price and Larry Bell, followed by Ron Cooper and Gus Foster, moved permanently from Los Angeles in the 1970s, while others such as Lee Mullican and Larry Calcagno spent part of each year in Taos.

Price, who had a rising reputation as a sculptor/ceramicist when he arrived in November of 1971, soon embarked on a monumental project that was eventually known as Happy's Curios. In the spring of 1978 the entire installation was shown at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Harwood Museum is indeed fortunate to have one of the larger pieces (Death Shrine 1) from Happy's Curios as a major work on extended loan to its contemporary collection.

The Harwood's contemporary collection also includes retrospective collections of 18-20 works by Larry Calcagno and R.C. Ellis, both of whom arrived in Taos through Wurlitzer Foundation grants.

In recent years, many artists from both the East and the West Coasts with well established art careers have chosen to spend part of each year working in Taos or the surrounding northern New Mexico area, thus continuing the strong connection in Taos with the national and international art worlds. The Harwood Museum has served a major role as a venue for exhibiting contemporary art and for focusing attention on many of the major artists who have worked or are working in northern New Mexico.

Artist: Eric Orr
Title: Solar Fountain Study
Date: c. 1978
Medium: vaporized metals/SIO on glass
Dimensions: Framed: 38 1/2 × 50 × 1 in. (97.8 × 127 × 2.5 cm) piece: 36 × 48 × 1/4 in. (91.4 × 121.9 × 0.6 cm)
Eric Orr United States (1939 - 1998)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Orr
c. 1978
Eric Orr
Artist: Eric Orr
Title: Gold Red Window
Date: 1997
Medium: lead, gold, blood ( the artist's)
Dimensions: 15 7/8" H x 11" W
Eric Orr United States (1939 - 1998)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Orr
1997
Eric Orr
Artist: Ken Price
Title: 'New Mexico' Band for Cup
Date: 1978
Medium: Pencil on paper
Dimensions: Overall: 9 1/2 x 4 in. (24.1 x 10.2 cm)
Ken Price (1935 - 2012)
1978
Ken Price
Artist: Ken Price
Title: Buko
Date: c. 1980
Medium: Ceramic
Ken Price (1935 - 2012)
c. 1980
Ken Price
Artist: Marylou Reifsnyder
Title: Girl With Red Hair and Grail
Date: 1970
Medium: Oil on wood panel
Dimensions: Overall: 35 13/16 x 23 5/8 in. (91 x 60 cm)
Marylou Reifsnyder (1922-1990)
1970
Marylou Reifsnyder
Artist: Marylou Reifsnyder
Title: Woman Descending into Grail
Date: 1985
Medium: Oil on masonite
Dimensions: Overall: 48 1/16 x 26 in. (122 x 66 cm)
Marylou Reifsnyder (1922-1990)
1985
Marylou Reifsnyder
Artist: Marsha Skinner
Title: Voices and Silence #23
Date: 1989
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: Overall: 41 5/8 x 48 1/8 in. (105.7 x 122.2 cm)
Marsha Skinner (b.1944)
1989
Marsha Skinner
Artist: Marsha Skinner
Title: Voices and Silence #24
Date: 1989
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: Overall: 41 5/8 x 48 1/8 in. (105.7 x 122.2 cm)
Marsha Skinner (b.1944)
1989
Marsha Skinner
Artist: Marsha Skinner
Title: Voices and Silence #25
Date: 1989
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: Overall: 41 5/8 x 48 1/8 in. (105.7 x 122.2 cm)
Marsha Skinner (b.1944)
1989
Marsha Skinner
Artist: Charles R. Strong
Title: Rocky Mountain Study #1
Date: 1960
Medium: Tempera and pastel on paper
Dimensions: Overall: 25 3/4 x 19 3/4 in. (65.4 x 50.2 cm)
Charles R. Strong United States (1938 - 2013)
1960
Charles R. Strong
Artist: Charles R. Strong
Title: Rocky Mountain Study #2
Date: 1960
Medium: Tempera and pastel on paper
Dimensions: Overall: 25 3/4 x 19 3/4 in. (65.4 x 50.2 cm)
Charles R. Strong United States (1938 - 2013)
1960
Charles R. Strong
Artist: John Suazo
Title: Uncle Ralph
Date: 2006
Medium: Egyptian limestone
Dimensions: Overall: 28 x 14 x 8 in. (71.1 x 35.6 x 20.3 cm)
John Suazo (b. 1951)
2006
John Suazo