Events Tell the Story of Taos, New Mexico’s Origins as a World-famous Center of Art and Culture

In conjunction with the museum’s exhibition The Taos Society of Artists sponsored by Scottsdale Art Auction (on view January 10 through April 30, 2017), Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West will host a series of four, monthly “Taos Tuesdays” programs, as well as the April 6 and 7 The Taos Society of Artists Symposium.

“Taos Tuesdays” programming will be held between 11 a.m. and noon in the Virginia G. Piper Theater/Auditorium. The series’ four programs feature the following topics and accomplished guest speakers:


Writer and arts advocate, Mabel Dodge Luhan from the documentary “Awakening in Taos.”

Arizona State University Professor Dallen J. Timothy, Ph.D. examines the complex and evolving relationship of tourism industry perceptions of cultural heritage.

Collectors played an important role in the promotion and support of members of the Taos Society of Artists. Leading American art dealers Brad Richardson (Legacy Gallery) and Jack A. Morris Jr. (Morris & Whiteside Galleries) examine this connection and the cultivation of a new generation of collectors.

Diana Pardue, curator of collections for the Heard Museum, discusses Taos Associate Member John Sloan, and his advocacy of Native American art.

This stunning film reveals the personal evolution of a woman 100 years ahead of her time. Mabel Dodge Luhan was a writer and advocate for the arts, women’s rights and Native American culture, whose Taos home became a haven of inspiration and creativity for esteemed writers and artists.

The Taos Society of Artists Symposium


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

The Taos Society of Artists Symposium, a two-day lecture series sponsored by Marcia and Hugh Ruddock, will be held from 1 to 5 p.m., Thursday, April 6 and Friday, April 7, 2017. The symposium will feature internationally recognized scholars who 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 20th century.

Speakers and topics include Barbara Brandenburg Brenner, granddaughter of Oscar E. Berninghaus and lifetime supporter of the Taos arts community (“My Grandpa Painted Pictures”); Virginia Couse Leavitt, granddaughter of E. Irving Couse and founder of The Couse Foundation (a discussion of Eanger Irving Couse and Joseph Henry Sharp); Michael Grauer, associate director of curatorial affairs/curator of art and Western heritage at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, and art history instructor at West Texas A&M University (“What Buck Brought to the Table: W. Herbert Dunton and the Taos Society of Artists”); Peter Hassrick, co-curator of “The Taos Society of Artists” exhibition, and director emeritus of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West (“Taos Transformations: The Art of E. Martin Hennings”); 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 (the 1924 Sands family trip to Taos, New Mexico); and Susan Sessions Rugh, Ph.D., dean of undergraduate education and history professor at Brigham Young University (“The Taos Painters and Branding the Southwest for Tourists”).

Admission to The Taos Society of Artists exhibition, the April 6-7 symposium, and the “Taos Tuesdays” events is included in museum admission, and is free to museum members.


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