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Ernest L Blumenschein 1874 - 1960
Taos gave Blumenschein "The first great unforgettable inspiration of my life"
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Ernest L Blumenschein (1874 - 1960)
written by Robert Parsons
and Ashley Rolshoven
Blumenschein said his arrival in Taos forever changed his life.
"The color, the reflective character of the landscape, the drama of the vast spaces,
the superb beauty and severity of the hills, stirred me deeply."
"I rode over foothills, thru gorges, out upon the great desert plateau.
Slowly I moved across a vast sage brush plain under vast and beautiful skies.
The morning was sparkling and stimulating.
The beautiful Sangre de Cristo range to my left was quite different in character from the Colorado mountains.
The sky was a clear, clean blue with sharp moving clouds.
In the distance: snow capped mountains, romantic mountains, green everlasting mountains.
I saw a few wild animals, a few strange dark people but they were quite insignificant in this superb landscape.
My eye was enraptured by a glorious impressionist. Never shall I forget these first powerful impressions.
My own impressions, direct from the new land, thru my own eyes, not another man's. Not another's adventure.
I was receiving ... The first great unforgettable inspiration of my life.
New Mexico had gripped me and I was not long in deciding that if Phillips would agree with me, if he felt as inspired to work as I,
The Taos Valley and its surrounding magnificent country would be the end of our wagon trip."
When Blumenschein first saw Taos he said: "I was receiving...the first great unforgettable inspiration of my life."
"No artist had ever recorded the New Mexico I was now seeing.
No writer had ever written down the smell of this air or the feel of that morning's sky."
Ernest L Blumenschein in Taos
Blumenschein summed up Taos: "We all drifted into Taos like skilled hands looking for a good steady job."
"We found it, as it grew into an urge that pushed us to our limits, a joyous inspiration to produce
and to give to the deepest extent of each man's caliber. We lived only to paint."
“I can’t explain why I paint and draw. It is as necessary for me to do as for an apple tree to produce fruit. Just a job I love."
Blumenschein with Taos Painting
Ernest L Blumenschein Timeline:
Ernest Blumenschein was an illustrator, mixed media and mosaic and fresco and paint muralist, Plein Air and easel painter.
His media included oil paints, pen and inks, watercolors, Mixed-Media and Multi-Media, gouache and colored pencils.
The subjects of Blumenschein art works included portraits, American Indians, Indian Figures Prior to 1940,
Cowboys, Human Activity, Allegory and Metaphor, mammals, animals, Mountain Views, and Mountainscapes,
North American Frontier Pioneers, landscapes, still lifes, Townscapes and Village Scenes, Cowboys, Indians
Horses, landscapes, Native American Indians, National Parks and State Parks.
Some of the places Blumenschein lived and worked include Paris Before 1900, Santa Fe, New Mexico Before 1940,
Taos, New Mexico Before 1940, Arizona Before 1945, Grand Canyon, Arizona, and Europe
He was a Taos modernist.
Blumenschein, a Taos Modernist
Blumenschein was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Raised in Dayton, Ohio.
His important teachers include Benjamin Jean-Joseph Constant, Jean Paul Laurens and Fernand Lungren.
As the son of a musician, he received early exposure to the Arts.
In 1891, at 17 he won a scholarship to the Cincinnati College of Music and The Art Academy.
In 1892 he attended the Arts Students League in New York City.
He supported himself by his musical talents, performing as first violinist for the conductor of the New York Symphony, Antonin Dvorak.
In 1894 he studied at the Académie Julian in Paris.
He continued studying at Académie Julian in 1899 and from 1902 to 1909.
He studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris.
In Paris he met Bert Phillips, E.I. Couse, and Joseph Henry Sharp.
He became close friends with Sharp and Phillips.
Sharp told him about New Mexico and invited him to visit.
Blumenschein and Phillips arrive in Taos
In 1896 he returned to New York.
Phillips and Blumenschein shared a New York Studio.
Blumenschein illustrated for Century, Harper's, Scribner's and McClure's,
and McClure's sent him to the Southwest
In 1898 the "fortunate accident" of a broken wheel led Blumenschein and Phillips to begin the Taos Art Colony.
EL Blumenschein in Taos Studio
In 1902 Blumenschein returned to Paris to continue his studies while still supporting himself as an illustrator.
In 1904 he created illustrations for the first book by Jack London, Love of Life.
He also worked with Stephen Crane, Willa Cather, and Joseph Conrad.
In 1905 he married Mary Shepard Greene.
In 1909, they moved to New York and taught at the Pratt Institute.
From 1910 on, Blumenschein worked in Taos in the summers and in New York in the winters.
In 1915, he became a co-founder of the Taos Society of Artists,
together with Joseph Henry Sharp, E. Irving Couse, Oscar E. Berninghaus, W. Herbert Dunton and Bert Geer Phillips.
Taos Society of Artists
Up to 1919, he spent time in both Taos and New York City, teaching at the Art Students League,
while he and his wife worked on illustrations.
She was a jewelry designer as well.
Ernest and Mary Blumenschein, ca 1918
In 1919 the couple moved to Taos permanently, acquiring an 11 room house on LeDoux street.
From 1920 to 1921 he was president of the Taos Society of Artists.
Blumenschein in Taos Studio
In 1927, he won full membership to the National Academy of Design.
Blumenschein painted vigorously throughout his older years.
He died in 1960 in Taos, New Mexico.
In 1966 the Blumenschein home was designated a National Historic Landmark.
EL Blumenschein Signature Examples
Blumenschein sometimes added "TAOS" to his signature
Authentic signatures are only a part of certifying Traditional Fine Art.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions.
Ernest Leonard Blumenschein Highest Auction Prices
"WHITE BLANKET AND BLUE SPRUCE" Sales Price: $1,538,500
"The Red War Bonnet" Price: $436,800
"Studio Fireplace" Price: $425,000
"Rockfire Afternoon" Price: $398,500
"Taos Indian Chief" Price: $389,000
"ARIZONA DAM" Price: $365,000
"Old Taos Indian" Price: $340,000
"Taos Canon Group" Price: $322,000
"Girl in Rose" Price: $317,500
"Cottonwoods in the Square" Price: $298,000
"White Sun" Price: $287,500
"Taos Valley Reflections" Price: $266,500
Fine Art prices have risen steadily. Please contact the Gallery for the latest prices and current inventory.
Parsons does not offer Ernest L Blumenschein prints, because no print can compare to the real paintings.
Parsons invites you to visit the Galleries to experience the unmatched beauty of the real art.
Ernest L Blumenschein Museum Exhibitions include:
Art Institute of Chicago
Arizona State University Art Museum
Carl S. Dentzel Collection
Carnegie Institute, International
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
Corcoran Gallery, Washington DC
Dallas Museum of Art
Denver Art Museum
Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art
Harmsen Western Art Collection
John F Eulich Collection
Jonson Gallery of University of New Mexico
Museum of Art at Brigham Young University
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Museum of New Mexico
Museum of The Southwest
National Academy of Design Museum
National Arts Club
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum
Phoenix Art Museum
Rockford Art Museum
Roswell Museum and Art Center
Sangre De Cristo Arts Center
Santa Fe Railroad
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Stark Museum of Art
The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
The Harwood Museum of Art
The Museum of Modern Art
The Newark Museum
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
University of Wyoming Art Museum
Vandeveer Spratlen Collection
William Foxley Collection-Western
Ernest L Blumenschein Museum Collections On Line Include:
(Click on links below to view Blumenschein paintings)
"The Long Walk of the Navajo" n.d. graphite on cardboard 10 1/2 x 6 in
"Something else by J. Breckenridge Ellis"
"Wards of the nation--their first vacation from school"
Denver Art Museum:
"Mountain Lake (Eagle Nest)"
Parsons Related Artists:
(Click below to view Taos Founders Paintings)
Blumenschein and Phillips started the Taos Art Colony because of the "fortunate accident" of a broken wheel in 1898.