“The Taos Society of Artists” Symposium


William Herbert Dunton, Philosopher of the Hills, c. 1929, oil on canvas; Stark Museum of Art, Orange, Texas.

This fascinating two-day lecture series, sponsored by Marcia and Hugh Ruddock, examines one of the most highly regarded artist groups in the nation’s history, the Taos Society of Artists. Internationally recognized scholars will discuss the society’s members, artistic technique, the birth of tourism in Taos, the topic of art patronage and the unique components that established an artistic circle in Taos, New Mexico during the early twentieth century.

Speakers include Barbara Brandenburg Brenner, granddaughter of Oscar E. Berninghaus and lifetime supporter of the Taos arts community; Virginia Couse Leavitt, granddaughter of E. Irving Couse and one of the founders of the Couse-Sharp Foundation; Michael Grauer, Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs/Curator of Art and Western Heritage of the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, and Instructor in Art History at West Texas A&M University; Peter Hassrick, Co-curator of “The Taos Society of Artists” exhibition, and Director Emeritus of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West; Tricia Loscher, Ph.D., Co-curator of “The Taos Society of Artists” exhibition and Chief Curator of Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West; and Susan Sessions Rugh, Ph.D., Dean of Undergraduate Education and Professor of History at Brigham Young University.


April 6

1:00 p.m.: “Taos Transformations: The Art of E. Martin Hennings” by Peter H. Hassrick

2:00 p.m.: “A Step Back in Time: The Couse-Sharp Historic Site” by Virginia Couse Leavitt

3:15 p.m.: “The Taos Painters and Branding the Southwest for Tourists” by Susan Sessions Rugh, Ph.D.

April 7

1:00 p.m.: “What Buck Brought to the Table: W. Herbert Dunton and the Taos Society of Artists” by Michael R. Grauer

2:00 p.m.: “My Grandpa Painted Pictures” by Barbara Brandenburg Brenner

3:15 p.m.: The 1924 Sands Family Trip to Taos, New Mexico by Tricia Loscher, Ph.D.

Between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on both days, the museum will offer an on-site, boxed lunch to guests for $12, which must be reserved at the time of the symposium reservation. The symposium’s lectures will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. on each day. Included with museum admission; free to museum members. Space is limited; RSVP required. To make your reservation, contact Visitor Services by Friday, March 31, 2017 at 480-686-9539 ext. 200.

This event is presented in conjunction with the museum’s exhibition The Taos Society of Artists, which is sponsored by Scottsdale Art Auction and on display from January 10 – April 30, 2017.