Taos Local Artists
More than a hundred years ago, six painters founded the Taos Society of Artists and our local art community is still thriving today.
Artistic specialties in Taos include ceramics, paint, jewelry, sculpture, film, theater, music, and even artisan food. There are more than 80 art galleries and six museums in our town.
Taos has inspired many artists, some just passing through and some choosing to make Taos their home. Read through some of the Taos artists profiles or even visit some of their work at the local art museums.
The Taos Six of the Taos Society of Artists
In 1915, the Taos Society of Artists formed and included famous artists Joseph Henry Sharp, E. Irving Couse, Oscar E. Berninghaus, W. Herbert Dunton, Ernest Blumenschein, and Bert Phillips. Their work was representative of the Taos art colony through artworks highlighting Native Americans, Hispanics, and landscapes, and using vibrant emotion-evoking colors. The group disbanded in 1927, but their influence lives on in Taos. Many of their works can be viewed at the Taos Art Museum at Fenchin House.
Ansel Adams – Adams is known all over the world for his stylistic black and white photographs. His first book published in 1930 was Taos Pueblo.
D.H. Lawrence – A special artist to us as we have his Forbidden Art collection in the Hotel La Fonda de Taos, Lawrence was made famous by his writing and painting abilities. Though much of his work was considered indecent at the time of production, they are marveled at in today’s society. You may read more about D.H. Lawrence and his collection here.
Georgia O’Keeffe – O’Keeffe visited Taos in 1929 and painted the San Francisco de Asis Mission Church. Taos was a source of inspiration for O’Keeffe as she returned and worked in New Mexico every year.
Artists at the Harwood Museum of Art
Larry Bell – Bell is an artist and sculptor living in Taos. His work focuses on the object and its environment with attention to the viewer’s perception or experience with the piece. Bell’s earlier work included fragments of glass and working with shadow boxes. He moved on to primary structures using cube sculptures on transparent pedestals. These cubes can act as mirrors and windows simultaneously.
Ken Price – Price specializes in prints and ceramics. He is well known for his abstract clay shapes with layers of acrylic paint. Price lived in Taos in the 1970s and was influenced by the culture and people through his devotion to Mexican pottery.
Agnes Martin – Martin cited herself as an abstract expressionist though critics would call her work minimalist. She worked in Taos from 1955-1957 and focused on linear elements and subtle colors. Martin added spiritual dimensions to her work and was interested in Eastern philosophy.
Millicent Rogers – Though Rogers was never an artist herself, her advocacy for Native Americans and her collections of their art and artifacts deserves a mention. She was part of a lobby that wished to grant protection to Native American art. She was successful in securing the rights for Native American art to be classified as historic. As a result, her museum has a strong emphasis on New Mexico and Taos works of art.
Nicolai Fenchin – This museum inside Fenchin’s adobe home that was built between 1927 and 1933. Fenchin was a painter and when he settled in Taos was extremely moved by the Native Americans and landscapes of the place. He was well known at the time for his portraits, especially those of people in power.