Ernest Blumenschein Home and Museum is located at 222 Ledoux Street in Taos.
Ernest Blumenschein was born in 1874 and studied at the Cincinnati School of Art, before continuing his studies at the Academie Julian in Paris. In the 1890s artists from America’s east coast
discovered Taos and its fantastic light, colors, scenery and Pueblo Indians. In
1893 artist Joseph Henry Sharp ventured in to Taos after taking the train to
Santa Fe. On assignment for Harper’s
Weekly magazine, he sketched the incredible scenery and Taos Pueblo which
captivated him. Two years later, while studying at the Academie Julian in
Paris, Sharp met two young American artists also studying there- Ernest
Blumenschein and Bert Geer Phillips. Sharp told them about Taos, and enchanted
them with stories about the place.
Back in the United States, Blumenschein and
Phillips decided to take Sharp’s advice and visit Taos. They started from
Denver in a wagon in September, 1898, hoping to go all the way to Mexico,
sketching and painting along the way. About 20 miles north of Taos a wheel on
the wagon broke. Having no way to repair the wheel, it had to be taken to a
blacksmith in Taos. They flipped a coin to see who would take the wheel to
Taos, and Blumenschein lost. He loaded the wheel onto his horse, and proceeded
to Taos. With the wheel repaired, Blumenschein returned to Phillips and they
went on to Taos together. They both were captivated by the place and
immediately began painting. Phillips stayed in Taos permanently, while
Blumenschein returned to New York and then Paris.
Phillips soon wrote to Blumenschein, “For heaven’s sake, tell people what we have found. Send some artists out here. There’s a lifetime of work for twenty men.” And so the artists came to Taos. In July, 1915, Blumenschein, Phillips and their old friend Sharp (who had since moved to Taos) formed the Taos Society of Artists along with three other men: Oscar Berninghaus, E. Irving Couse, and W. Herbert “Buck” Dunton. The purpose of the society was to show their work in galleries back east and find buyers for their art. They were very successful in their efforts.
Blumenschein married American artist Mary Greene in Paris in 1905, and they moved permanently to Taos in 1919. They bought a four-room home on Ledoux Street from Buck Dunton. When rooms adjacent to the home became unoccupied, they were added to the home. The museum complex now consists of ten rooms, and Dunton's old studio is on the grounds of the property.
On July 19, 2015 the Blumenschein Home presented this float in the annual Fiesta parade in Taos. Note the broken wheel!
You can find out more about the Blumenschein Home and Museum by going here: https://www.taoshistoricmuseums.org/