Gallery Guide of Taos

A Blumen’ century!

Ernest L. Blumenschein Home & Museum celebrates centennial

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Following in her great grandfather Bert Phillips’s footsteps, Margo Beutler-Gins, director of Taos Historic Museums, invites Taos and the rest of the world to celebrate 100 years since the Ernest L. Blumenschein family of artists bought their historic home and studios at 222 Ledoux Street in August of 1919, further establishing and promoting Western art in Taos.

The museum commemorates the lives and art of all three artists – Ernest L. Blumenschein, Mary Shepherd Greene Blumenschein and their daughter Helen Greene Blumenschein.

“Ernest went back and forth for almost two decades, but my great grandfather never left,” Beutler-Gins said.

Her family history agrees with near-legendary accounts of how enchanting Blumenschein and Phillips found Taos to be, upon inadvertently discovering it on their famous broken wagon wheel mishap in 1898, on a sketching trip from Denver to Mexico. Blumenschein traversed over 20 miles to a Taos blacksmith, reputedly located off Ledoux Street, opposite the Blumenschein Home & Museum of today.

By 1915, E. L. Blumenschein and Phillips founded the Taos Society of Artists, with fellow artists Oscar Berninghaus, E. Irving Couse, W. Herbert “Buck” Dunton and Joseph H. Sharp, all with the intent to support and promote these artists of Taos. By 1919, the Blumenschein family moved into four units of the Ledoux Street complex that over the years expanded into a large home, studios and garden.

"August is the month we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the purchase of the Blumenschein home," Beutler-Gins said, noting they will be doing multiple celebrations on the porch of the home in August, many in connection with the Taos County Historical Society and the Taos Arts Council.

“The 100th anniversary kickoff will be the weekend of Aug. 3, starting at 2 p.m.,” Beutler-Gins said. “We’re trying to focus on the daughter, Helen’s contributions to Taos. She was not only an artist, but also a philanthropist and a founding member of the Taos County Historical Society.”

Titled, “Helen Blumenschein: Archeologist and Historical Advocate,” Beutler-Gins said the anniversary kickoff will include a tented event in the museum courtyard and feature Jeff Boyer, “the son of generational Taoseño, Jack Boyer. Jeff Boyer was originally the director and supervisor of the Archeology Department of the State of New Mexico.”

Also in August, Beutler-Gins said details are being finalized for an outdoor art market with local vendors, from Taos Pueblo, local Hispanic and Taos artists, as well as an art show featuring the Blumenschein family’s photography and art.

In the Blumenschein Studio there will be an unknown, emerging “local master,” Buetler-Gins said, an artist who she believes has supreme talent but is undiscovered and unrepresented in Taos.

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