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Elizabeth J. Cunningham Papers Relating to Ernest L. Blumenschein

 Collection
Identifier: Ms. Coll. 1

Scope and Content Note

This collection comprises research notes, writings, correspondence, printed materials, photographs, slides, and memorabilia belonging to Elizabeth J. Cunningham and relating to her research on the life and work of the Taos artist, Ernest L. Blumenschein. Unless otherwise specifically noted at the folder level that historic materials are originals, it should be assumed that photographs, correspondence, and any other historically dated items are photocopies or reprints. The majority of the copied correspondence and photographs are from originals in the Blumenschein Family Papers held at the New Mexico Museum of Art.

Dates

  • 1890s-2017
  • Majority of material found in 1890s-2017

Language of Materials

English

Access Restrictions

This collection has no access restrictions.

Copy Restrictions

Duplication of materials subject to approval. User is responsible for copyright compliance.

Biographical Note

Ernest L. Blumenschein (1874-1960) was one of the founding members of the Taos art colony and one of the original six members of the Taos Society of Artists and was known for his paintings of Native Americans and the American Southwest, particularly New Mexico. Blumenschein studied art in New York City at the Art Students League and in Paris at the Academie Julian before returning to New York City and taking a job as an illustrator. In the summer of 1898, he and his friend Bert Phillips had traveled out west to paint for the summer, and on their way headed south towards Mexico their wagon wheel broke about 20 miles north of Taos. They were so taken with the beauty of the landscape and the richness of the culture, that they decided to stay there for the remainder of the summer. He and Phillips began to formulate the idea of building an art colony along with other artists who were drawn to Taos and, in 1915, the Taos Society of Artists was created with its original six members: Blumenschein, Phillips, E.I. Couse, Joseph Henry Sharp, Oscar Berninghaus, and W. Herbert "Buck" Dunton, Blumenschein returned to Taos each summer to paint until finally moving there year round in 1919 with his wife, Mary, and daughter, Helen. He remained in Taos for the rest of his life and passed away in 1960.

Elizabeth J. Cunningham (1951-2018) was born in Denver and grew up in western Nebraska. In 1981, she became the curator of The Anschutz Collection, a leading collection of paintings of the American west located in Denver. Her research interests focused on Ernest L. Blumenschein and in 1993, during a visit to Taos, New Mexico to give a lecture on the artist, she met Skip Miller who was then curator of the Blumenschein Home and Museum. She and Skip married six months later and in 1994, she moved to Taos to pursue her research and writing on the art and people of northern New Mexico. In 2008, she published the definitive volume, "In Contemporary Rhythm: The Art of Ernest L. Blumenschein" along with Peter Hassrick and with contributing essays by Skip Miller. She also researched and wrote extensively on prominent women of Taos such as Mabel Dodge Luhan, Millicent Rogers, Lucy Harwood, and others, prompting the town of Taos to host a year-long celebration of women of Taos in 2012. She maintained a blog called, "Remarkable Women of Taos" and contributed essays to publications such as "Taos Artists and their Patrons" and "The Hand-Carved Marionettes of Gustave Baumann" among others.

Extent

20 Linear Feet

Abstract

This collection comprises research notes, writings, correspondence, printed materials, photographs, slides, and memorabilia belonging to Elizabeth J. Cunningham and relating to her research on the life and work of the Taos artist, Ernest L. Blumenschein.

Related Material

See the publication: In Contemporary Rhythm: The Art of Ernest L. Blumenschein (2008) by Peter H. Hassrick and Elizabeth J. Cunningham

Separated Material

Elizabeth Cunningham's personal research library has been separated from the original gift and is incorporated into the Lunder Research Center's reference collection.

Processing Information

Processed by Marissa Hendriks, Archivist/Collections Manager, May 2019. This collection is arranged according to the creator's original intellectual organization whenever possible and therefore a series is typically determined by subject and contains mixed materials.
Title
Finding Aid of the Elizabeth J. Cunningham Papers Relating to Ernest L. Blumenschein, ca. 1890s-2016
Status
Edited Full Draft
Author
Marissa Hendriks
Date
© 2019
Language of description
English
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the Lunder Research Center Repository

Contact:
The Lunder Research Center for the Taos Society of Artists
The Couse-Sharp Historic Site
146 Kit Carson Road
Taos NM 87571 USA
575-751-0369