Art

A season's frosty inspiration

Blumenschein Museum hosts cozy 'Winter in Taos' exhibition

By Dena Miller
tempo@taosnews.com
Posted 1/2/20

The E.L. Blumenschein Home and Museum became a National Historic Landmark in 1966, seven decades after its namesake helped to put Taos on the global map as an extraordinary art destination unlike no other.

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Art

A season's frosty inspiration

Blumenschein Museum hosts cozy 'Winter in Taos' exhibition

Posted

The E.L. Blumenschein Home and Museum became a National Historic Landmark in 1966, seven decades after its namesake helped to put Taos on the global map as an extraordinary art destination unlike no other.

Ernest Blumenschein was one of the founders of the Taos Society of Artists, but his arrival here was happenstance: both he and fellow artist Bert G. Phillips were traveling in a surrey from Denver to Mexico, when their wagon wheel broke just north of Taos. It may not have been what the two artists planned, but in the time it took to repair the wheel both their futures and the future of Taos were irrevocably changed.

Ongoing legacy

Blumenschein's home at 222 Ledoux Street remains today as a living exhibit of life in Taos at the turn of the 20th century. It has been maintained by the nonprofit organization the Taos Historic Museums, which also oversees La Hacienda de los Martínez, and it has a new board member who is helping to inject newsworthy attention to both the enduring history of Blumenschein and the ongoing legacy of the art colony we call home.

That board member is Rob Nightingale, owner of Wilder Nightingale Fine Art on historic Kit Carson Road, and he is announcing a juried and themed show to be hung in the Blumenschein house titled "A Winter in Taos." The exhibition features a variety of local and regional artists representing their take on the season in a variety of media.

An opening reception is planned Saturday (Jan. 4), 3-5 p.m., at the museum. The event is open to the public and admission is free. Light refreshments will be served. A portion of any sales from the show will help benefit the Taos Historic Museums to continue to help benefit the community, keep history alive and continue the town's artistic heritage, he noted.

"We've got an amazing array of eclectic styles and representations of what winter in Taos looks like," Nightingale said. "This exhibition and sale kicks off 2020 as the first in a planned series of new, creative shows that will be a great way for visitors to collect art and connect with up-and-coming artists who may not have local representation - and with established artists as well."

Fits well with history

"To do these shows also just feels like it fits well with the history of the Blumenschein family," he continued. "Because of the Taos Society of Artists, other artists moved here to pursue art as a vocation, and that continues through today." The call for artists brought submissions from near and far, and were juried by fellow board member Tim Maez and staffer Luisa Mylet.

Lenny Foster, the well-known photographer who relocated from Taos to sunnier climes, submitted a traditional photograph called "Mabel's," which depicts the iconic birdhouses in front of Mabel Dodge Luhan's home covered in snow. Kevin Anderson also submitted a photograph, his called "Old Mountain Truck," printed on archival rag paper and featuring a snow-covered Pueblo Peak towering over the vintage vehicle.

Fiber art and carvings are also represented. Gretchen Adams' submission, "Winter Night Fire," is a stunning geometric Navajo-Churro tapestry of building blocks of fire from cool to hot, and "Taos Ice Crystals," a box elder wood-carved bowl with turquoise inlay highlighting its intricacy, is offered by Jim Scott.

Naturally, there is a plethora of works on canvas and paper submissions as well. Nancy Kirk offers "Cradle," a hand-ground casein medium on Arches cold-pressed watercolor paper. The durable aqueous painting medium, known since prehistoric times, is a bold choice for her abstract representation. Terry Davis has captured the iconic San Francisco de Asís church in his oil painting titled "Winter Shadows on the Church," a setting that's appreciated by locals and visitors.

New role

Nightingale has been volunteering for several years in helping to curate different shows to benefit Taos Historical Museums, and is excited about his new role as board member. "I think our focus on creating new activities and events at both the Blumenschein house and the Martinez hacienda will bring a renewed interest in the community with regard to those properties," he said. "We want to encourage locals to consider supporting us with an annual membership and to do that we have to get them to visit and remember just how important these properties are."

Outgoing Taos Historic Museums board president Margo Gins has turned the reins over to Daniel Barela, who comes from a family with significant historic artistic ties in Taos and is, himself, a third-generation Spanish colonial woodcarver. His great-grandfather received national recognition for his work and helped spur the ongoing reputation of New Mexico as a destination for the art style.

In addition to Nightingale and Maez, the board members of Taos Historic Museums include Sadie Boyer, David Fernandez, Molly Martinez, Robert Martinez and Luis Reyes. Linda Manzanares, Diana Trujillo and Crystal Mitchell are staff members along with Mylet.

"A Winter in Taos" will be on view through March 2. For more information, call (575) 758-0505.

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