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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.


Sorted DescendingTitleDateArtistClassificationDimensions
Winter in New Mexicoc.1930Walter Ufer
Walter Ufer (1876-1936)
painting Overall: 22 1/4 x 20 1/16 in. (56.5 x 51 cm) frame: 28 x 25 3/4 in. (71.1 x 65.4 cm)
Winter Funeralc. 1931Victor Higgins
Victor Higgins United States (1884-1949)
Painter. At fifteen, Victor Higgins defied his parents’ wishes and left his native Indiana for Chicago, where he studied at the Art Institute and the Academy of Fine Arts. Sponsored by ex-mayor and collector Carter Harrison, Higgins spent two and half years studying and traveling in Europe. While in Munich, he associated with fellow art students Walter Ufer and Martin Hennings. The year after his return (1914), Harrison sent him on a painting trip to New Mexico. There Higgins found the strong light, brilliant color, and lure of the land a powerful antidote to the confines of academic training. He joined the Taos Society of Artists in 1917, but he continued to divide his time between Chicago and Taos for some years and to exhibit in Indianapolis and New York, with an occasional painting sent to Europe. As a link between his more conservative colleagues and the emerging artistic developments of the twentieth century, Higgins wedded theory to his own intuitively derived visual harmonies. The result was a rich and varied body of work in still life, figure painting, and, most significantly, landscape.

Art Gallery of the University of Notre Dame and the Indianpolis Museum of Art. Victor Higgins. Notre Dame, Ind.: Art Gallery of the University of Notre Dame and Indianapolis Museum of Art, 1975.

Bickerstaff. Pioneer Artists of Taos, pp. 175–93.

Art Museum of South Texas. Victor Higgins in New Mexico. Corpus Christi: Art Museum of South Texas, 1984.

Charles Eldredge, Julie Schimmel, and William H. Truettner Art in New Mexico, 1900–1945: Paths to Taos and Santa Fe (Washington, DC: National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 1986)
painting Framed: 51 1/4 × 64 1/2 × 2 1/2 in. (130.2 × 163.8 × 6.4 cm)
Untitled (Taos Pueblo Church)c. 1920Blanche C. Grant
Blanche C. Grant (1874-1948)
painting Overall: 16 1/8 x 20 1/16 in. (41 x 51 cm) frame: 22 1/8 x 26 1/8 in. (56.2 x 66.4 cm)
Untitled (Portrait of Woman)n.d.Blanche C. Grant
Blanche C. Grant (1874-1948)
painting Overall: 13 11/16 x 12 3/16 in. (34.7 x 30.9 cm)
Untitledc. 1930Juan Tafiho Mirabal
Juan Tafiho Mirabal (1903-1981)
painting Framed: 46 1/4 × 97 1/4 × 2 in. (117.5 × 247 × 5.1 cm)
Untitled1930Mabel Degan
Mabel Degan United States (1885 - 1954)
Mabel Hussey Degan, formerly of Louisville, Ky., began her art studies in Paris at the Academy Julian, but branched off into miniature painting with Mme. Debillement-Chardon and became a member of the French Miniature Society, exhibiting several times at the George Petit galleries and the Salon Francaise.

She later went to Spain and copied Velasquez and Goya at the Prado, studying with Lopez Mesquita, the well-known portrait painter. Before leaving Spain, she had two portraits admitted to the biennial exhibition of the Belles Artes in Madrid, being the only American represented in that year, 1926.

Returning to Paris, she had a nude admitted in the Beaux Arts Francaise. She worked with Andre Lhote and joined the Modern American and English Painters, who give two exhibitions each year. She also took part in several small exhibitions in Mont, parnasse. While in Sydney, Australia, she gave a one-man exhibition in the Industrial Art Club of paintings completed while there.

Excerpt from; Exhibition of PAINTINGS by MABEL HUSSEY DEGEN
March 3 to 24, 1940
painting Overall: 32 x 21 1/2 in. (81.3 x 54.6 cm) Framed: 36 7/8 x 26 1/2 in. (93.7 x 67.3 cm)
The Passing Snow Squall; Taos Mountainc. 1915Bert G. Phillips
Bert G. Phillips (1868-1956)
painting Overall: 40 3/16 x 41 5/8 in. (102 x 105.8 cm) frame: 45 1/4 x 46 3/8 in. (114.9 x 117.8 cm)
The Caciquec. 1932E. Irving Couse
E. Irving Couse United States (1866-1936)
Eanger Irving Couse was born September 3, 1866 in Saginaw, Michigan. The Chippewa people lived close by. Young Couse's interest in Native American cultures developed very early, as did his artistic instinct. To paint the American Indian became his life-long ambition. In 1898 the Couses established a winter studio in New York, but summers were spent away from the city, painting in Washington, Connecticut and France. Couse learned of Taos in May of 1902 through a conversation with his friend, Ernest Blumenschein. Two weeks later Couse arrived in northern New Mexico with his family to begin a lifetime of summer residency and the development of the oeuvre for which he became famous. He was one of the founders of the Taos Society of Artists in 1915 and its first president. A painter of Native Americans in Taos for the rest of his life, he was honored with many major prizes and awards.

Couse died in 1936 after a long and distinguished career.
painting Overall: 34 5/8 x 45 11/16 in. (88 x 116 cm) Framed: 41 1/2 x 52 in.
The Big Topn.d.Martin Fischer
Martin Fischer (1923-2004)
painting Overall: 24 x 32 in. (61 x 81.3 cm) Framed: 29 x 37 in. (73.7 x 94 cm)
Taos Puebloc. 1920Joseph Henry Sharp
Joseph Henry Sharp (1859-1953)
painting Overall: 11 x 14 15/16 in. (28 x 38 cm)