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Taos Wood Blocks Collection

Identifier: MSS-316-BC

Scope and Content

The collection consists primarily of wood blocks (with some linoleum and zinc blocks) and prints that were later made from the blocks. The blocks, which came to the University of New Mexico in January 1976, had largely been used to illustrate Taos, N.M. publications associated with Willard “Spud" Johnson, including Laughing Horse, Horsefly, El Crepusculo (particularly the “Horsefly" section), Taos News, and the New Mexico Sentinel. Antonio Archuleta, Pedro Barela, Gustave Baumann, William Rose Benet, Emil Bisstram, Ernest Blumenschein, Manville Chapman, John Collier Jr. Regina Tatum Cook, Miguel Covarrubias, Richard Crisler, Cliff Harmon, Victor Higgins, Paul Horgan, Vernon Hunter, Willard Johnson, Gina Knee, D. H., Lawrence, Frieda Lawrence, Ward Lockwood, Ila McAfee, Loyd Moylan, Loren Mozley, W. E. Mruk, Datus Myers, B. J. O. Nolrdfeldt, Ida Rauh, Will Shuster, Carl van Vechten, and Carlos Vierra are credited with creating the original artwork for some of the blocks. It was not unusual for blocks to be reused in different issues of the same publication, or in different publications at different times. Titles and captions were not necessarily consistent from one publication to another. Themes represented by the blocks are predominantly southwestern in nature, and include pueblo architecture, churches, landscapes, Native Americans, cowboys, Taos literati (Mabel Dodge Luhan, D. H. Lawrence), animals, religious iconography, etc.

Prints and photocopies of prints in box 5 were printed by an unknown individual or individuals. Art prints in box 6 were printed by Jane Abrams in 1982.

The collection was previously known as the “Laughing Horse Collection."


  • circa 1924-1982
  • Majority of material found in 1924-1952, 1982

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of print and photographic material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Jane Abrams retains rights to prints in box 6. Permission is required for publication or distribution.


6 boxes (4.7 cu. ft.)


The collection, formerly called the Laughing Horse collection, contains nearly 200 printing blocks, mostly wood. Many of the blocks were associated with Willard “Spud" Johnson’s Taos, N.M. publications. Prints from the blocks are also included in the collection, including a set of art prints from selected blocks, printed by Jane Abrams.

Prints Available Online

Jane Abrams prints of select blocks (box 6) are available in New Mexico's Digital Collections.

Processing Information

Research on this collection is incomplete. More blocks may be identified in the future.

The name of the collection was changed in 2010 from "Laughing Horse Collection" to "Taos Wood Blocks Collection" to more accurately reflect the contents of the collection.
Finding Aid of the Taos Wood Blocks Collection, 1924-1982
B. Silbergleit
© 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

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

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131