Benefit auction to help Taos Art Museum at Fechin House

By Tamra Testerman
Posted 7/30/19

Artists from all over the world have migrated to the Southwest for decades and felt at home in Taos. In the early 1920s, the Russian artist Nicolai Fechin and his family emigrated …

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Benefit auction to help Taos Art Museum at Fechin House


Artists from all over the world have migrated to the Southwest for decades and felt at home in Taos. In the early 1920s, the Russian artist Nicolai Fechin and his family emigrated from Russia to New York City. A few years later, art maven Mabel Dodge Luhan invited the artist to Taos as she had done for many artists of the time, and after a few months in town, the Fechin family stayed.

They purchased a house at what is now 227 Paseo del Pueblo Norte and renovated it to mirror the aesthetics and functionality Fechin imbued in all he touched and for which he became famous. The 4,000 square-foot, asymmetrical, adobe Pueblo and Mission Revival house, with 24-inch walls is a jewel of Southwest architecture and houses the family's massive art collection and Fechin's own work.

The board of the Taos Art Museum acquired the property in 2002 and entered the long-term preservation and care of this Taos treasure. This obligation is absorbed by membership dues, admissions and fundraising activities.

The Taos Art Museum at Fechin house is having an inspired gala and silent auction to raise money for this upkeep and maintenance mission and daily operations of the house that Fechin built.

Works for the auction can be seen beginning Tuesday (Aug. 6) at 10 a.m. and through Aug. 24 at 5 p.m. Work will be on exhibit in the Fechin Studio and is available to explore and bid online at This is a convenience for people to take part even if they cannot attend the gala.

Museum Director Christy Schoedinger Coleman said that this year the auction will feature artwork, gift certificates and a seven-day stay in Schoedinger Coleman's family home in Whitefish, Montana. The mountain hideaway is depicted as situated in "a charming mountain town nestled between Glacier National Park, Flathead Lake and Big Mountain Ski Resort. Lodging is a deluxe four-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath townhome with ski in-out access."

She continued, "The silent auction features work by Taos artists Chloe Gaillard-Burke, Lorenzo Chavez, Jeff Cochran, Terry Davis, Mary Dolph Wood, Leigh Gusterson, Peggy Immel, Max Jones, C.S. Talley and more. There is an Edward Curtis platinum photograph 12.5-by-16.5 inches titled 'At the Old Well of Acoma,' courtesy of Zaplin Lampert Gallery in Santa Fe. There will also be jewelry handmade by local artists in the auction."

She said Lyle Wright and Ron Wesley are among the jewelers and there will be in the offerings some "stunning jewelry from galleries such as MOMO Taos and Magpie gallery. It's our 15th anniversary, so there is much to celebrate! While revenue from admissions, membership and contributions support our daily operations, money raised from our gala and auction helps the museum maintain the beautiful, historic Fechin House, studio and gardens."

The auction lineup will also include a bevy of "gift certificates to area businesses and experiences such as Dallas Cowboys football tickets." These items are all contributed by local businesses in Taos and Santa Fe and the work to canvas the goods and services in the silent auction happens long before the event takes place. Schoedinger Coleman said, "We appreciate the generosity shown by our community through the donation of items for our auction, and bidding on the items, too. This kind of support makes a meaningful and positive difference for the Taos Art Museum at Fechin House."

The museum is a vibrant community gathering place that hosts workshops, artist talks, tours and concerts. It supports local artists, and is home to a gift shop featuring original locally handmade jewelry, and other fine art. In addition, it is home to an assemblage of the finest art representing decades of visionary passion fueled by the Taos Art Colony and those who followed in their footsteps.

Galina Tuluzakova, the Russian scholar who studied Fechin's life and work and his influences as an artist, including his residency at the Imperial Academy of Arts and political upheavals in Russia, has seen Fechin's work in museums all over the world. She declared that "his house (in Taos) is the best place. Everything is in harmony: the texture of the walls and the texture of the paintings. I know museums must be alive and I see the Fechin House is alive."


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