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FERTILE VALLEY: THE TAOS SOCIETY OF ARTISTS AND THEIR INFLUENCE

On view June 22 to October 3, 2021

Sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Samantha Voss for sponsorship information.

Turner Mansion – Thomas, Hogan, and Turner Galleries 

“The month was September, and the fertile valley a beautiful sight, and inspiration for those who ply the brush for happiness.” 

 

This was artist Ernest Blumenschein’s recollection of seeing Taos, New Mexico for the first time. In 1915, he would form the Taos Society of Artists alongside Joseph Henry Sharp, Irving Couse, Oscar E. Berninghaus, W. Herbert Dunton, and Bert Phillips. Their luminescent landscape paintings and reverent portraits of the Taos Pueblo tribe spoke to the peace and purity these artists discovered in the Taos colony. 

 

Traditional in technique, the Taos Society of Artists were decidedly modern in circumstance. Their art colony established the concept of the desert oasis and the American Southwest as an antidote to the rapidly industrializing cities to the east. Throughout the twentieth century, many more artists would follow their example. Modernists such as Andrew Dasburg, Agnes Martin, and Georgia O’Keeffe all relocated to New Mexico for mental clarity and artistic freedom. 

 

Pairing works by the Taos Society of Artists with Taos and Santa Fe modernists, Fertile Valley explores the ways in which utopic New Mexican colonies offered inspiration to multiple generations of artists.