E. L. Blumenschein
Ernest Blumenschein was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and raised in Dayton, Ohio. His family hoped he would follow in his father's footsteps and become a musician and composer. However, while attending the Cincinnati College of Music on scholarship, Blumenschein also enrolled in the Cincinnati Art Academy. His developing artistic talent was enthusiastically encouraged, and he decided to pursue a career in art, later enrolling at the Art Students League in New York. Blumenschein continued his training at the Académie Julian in Paris, where he met fellow students J.H. Sharp, Bert Phillips and Irving Couse, whose stories inspired him to visit the American West.
After returning to the U.S., Blumenschein worked as a commercial illustrator, and in 1898 he was sent to Taos on assignment by McClure's. That trip, made with Bert Geer Phillips, led to the founding of the first art colony west of the Mississippi.
Though for many years he divided his time between New York and Europe, spending summers in Taos, it was New Mexico and its native cultures that were his life's inspiration. In 1918 Blumenschein and his wife Mary, also a highly successful artist, settled permanently in Taos.
Blumenschein was considered one of the most articulate, intelligent and enthusiastic spokesmen for the Taos Society of Artists. He created daring compositions using bold colors combined with symbolic and intuitive elements in strong geometric patterns. His paintings are essential to the creation of the Taos artistic legend and continue to provide a contemporary perspective to the magic, myth and meaning of the Taos experience.
Ernest Blumenschein received numerous awards and honors including election to full membership in the National Academy of Design. He was awarded that organization's Altman prize as well as the Logan prize, which he won twice. Blumenschein's paintings are included in many important collections.
Actively seeking works by E. L. Blumenschein