Peeking into a Creative Past

Ernest L. Blumenscheinstudio-fireplace1

Two blocks south of Taos Plaza the home of Ernest Blumenschein (1874-1960) preserves a look into the creative life of one of Taos’ most famous artists. A founder of the original Taos Society of Artists, Blumenschein was drawn to the Northern New Mexico region after his first visit in 1898. With wife Mary Greene Blumenschein, an artist  in her own right, and daughter Helen the family purchased the home on Ledoux Street in 1919. Portions of the adobe structure date to 1797.

The interior remains much as it was when the family lived, painted and entertained in the 13-room rambling structure. Entering the kitchen with its ice box, California cooler and combination wood/electric stove sets the stage for a step back in time. One can imagine the list of luminaries who gathered in dining room doorwaysduring the first half of the 20th century. The home is furnished with the family’s original belongings of European and Spanish Colonial style antiques and a lifetime of personal possessions. Walls filled with the family’s art collection include works by other Taos artists, Mary and Helen. Many of Blumenschein’s own works hang in his former studio.

In summer the home’s courtyard fills with colorful blooms. A sky blue bench entices visitors to sit among the hollyhocks and let their mind wander back a few decades. Twenty-first century artists frequently work at easels in courtyard corners, capturing their vision of the Taos landmark.

painterWhen You go: Blumenschein Home and Museum, 222 Ledoux Street, Taos, New Mexico. Open daily in summer, check the website for hours and admission fees. Call, 575-758-0505, for winter hours. Browse the gift shop for unique New Mexican items and books.

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