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Taos Municipal School Historic Collection

Sorted AscendingTitleDateArtistClassificationDimensions
Untitledn.d.Romeo V. Tabuena
Romeo V. Tabuena (b. 1921)
painting Overall: 28 x 44 in. (71.1 x 111.8 cm) Framed: 29 1/4 x 45 in. (74.3 x 114.3 cm)
Untitled1944Gail Trowbridge
Gail Trowbridge (b. 1900)
painting Overall: 20 1/4 x 27 1/4 in. (51.4 x 69.2 cm) Framed: 28 3/4 x 34 3/4 in. (73 x 88.3 cm)
Untitled1935Cady Wells
Cady Wells (1904 - 1954)
CADY WELLS (1904-1954), first visited Taos in 1932.

Perhaps it is to those who do not live too long that the gift is given of fully savoring every moment.

—E. Boyd, 1956

In his watercolor paintings, Cady Wells, like his teacher Andrew Dasburg, sought to capture the geometry of the land, combining his interest in landform structure with a John Marin-like boldness. A sense of rapidity often appears in Wells’s semi-abstract landscapes—particularly the early ones. Slashed with rains of line, the paintings are as much a map of the land’s movement as of the land’s form. His cuneiform-like abstractions hold all the mystery of ancient Sumerian tablets, like a language still recognizable but not exactly remembered. Such traits led Georgia O’Keeffe on more than one occasion to state that Wells (along with herself!) was one of the two or three finest painters in the Southwest. He assimilated the lessons of Dasburg and later went through a period where the work of Georges Rouault and Paul Klee influenced his work.

Wells never was a permanent resident, but he continued to visit and work in Taos after World War II, staying at a studio owned by Taos artist Rebecca James. By the late 1940s he was working in thick, full-bodied watercolor, putting down on paper a more sensual texture than in previous work to achieve fuller definitions of space. He enlarged the closely worked details in his landscapes until they developed into his late abstractions.

Wells learned the use of colored inks from Thomas Benrimo, utilizing them for dramatic effect. Influenced by the stained glass windows at Chartres Cathedral, Wells set his work in ink within a “framework of translucence and dark contrast,” as noted in the catalog of his retrospective exhibition at the Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe, in 1956. One critic understood the artist’s intent exactly when he noted that Wells was ornamenting “his patterns and intervals as though they were richly complex tapestries.”

Wells seemed to be finding an important new direction in his work after 1952, but he did not live long enough to fulfill its potential. It is a tragedy that Wells did not have a few more decades to explore such a promising direction.

Edited excerpt from David L. Witt, Taos Moderns: Art of the New (1992)
painting Overall: 14 1/2 x 20 1/4 in. (36.8 x 51.4 cm) Framed: 23 1/4 x 28 3/4 in. (59.1 x 73 cm)
Untitled Penitente1948Earl Stroh
Earl Stroh United States (1924-2005)
Buffalo, NY
drawing Overall: 14 1/2 x 11 1/2 in. (36.8 x 29.2 cm) Framed: 17 1/2 x 14 3/4 in. (44.5 x 37.5 cm)
Untitled Street Scene1947Alfred Morang
Alfred Morang (1901-1958)
painting Overall: 18 x 15 in. (45.7 x 38.1 cm) Framed: 22 5/8 x 19 1/2 in. (57.5 x 49.5 cm)
Where Indians Dance1924Blanche C. Grant
Blanche C. Grant (1874-1948)
painting Overall: 30 x 30 in. (76.2 x 76.2 cm) Framed: 37 1/2 x 37 1/2 in. (95.3 x 95.3 cm)
Windy Day1947Antonia (Toni) Mygatt Lucas
Antonia (Toni) Mygatt Lucas (1921-2006)
painting Overall: 20 x 15 1/4 in. (50.8 x 38.7 cm) Framed: 26 x 22 in. (66 x 55.9 cm)
Winter Gloomn.d.Ted Christensen
Ted Christensen United States (1911-1998)
Ted Christensen was born in 1911. He painted impressionist landscapes and seascapes in a variety of media. His images came from his extensive travels to New Mexico, California, Hawaii, and Europe.
After World War II, where he served as a machine gunner, he received an injury-related discharge, which forced him to search out other occupational avenues. He took up painting at this time. His formal training included time spent at the Otis Art Institute and the Museum School in Portland, Oregon.
He has exhibited widely throughout the Southwest and Northwest.
painting Framed: 57 1/2 x 45 1/4 in. (146.1 x 114.9 cm)
Wood Haulers1945Oscar E. Berninghaus
Oscar E. Berninghaus United States (1874-1952)
drawing Overall: 18 x 15 in. (45.7 x 38.1 cm) Framed: 28 1/2 x 25 1/4 in. (72.4 x 64.1 cm)