In Contemporary Rhythm: The Art of Ernest L. Blumenschein

Overview

The definitive retrospective on this prominent twentieth-century American artist

One of the founders of the Taos Society of Artists, Ernest L. Blumenschein (1874–1960) was perhaps the most complex and accomplished of all the painters associated with that pioneering organization. His critical acclaim transcended regional confines, and his work continues to be greatly admired.

This volume is the definitive work on Blumenschein’s life and art, ...

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Overview

The definitive retrospective on this prominent twentieth-century American artist

One of the founders of the Taos Society of Artists, Ernest L. Blumenschein (1874–1960) was perhaps the most complex and accomplished of all the painters associated with that pioneering organization. His critical acclaim transcended regional confines, and his work continues to be greatly admired.

This volume is the definitive work on Blumenschein’s life and art, reproducing masterworks from a new exhibit along with additional works and historical photographs to form the most comprehensive assemblage of his paintings ever published. In Contemporary Rhythm describes not only his place in the Taos colony and western art but also his far-reaching influence on mainstream American art and national aesthetic developments.

The text by Peter H. Hassrick and Elizabeth J. Cunningham draws on Blumenschein’s papers as well as other archival sources to explore in depth the dimensions of his multifaceted life and his place in American history and culture. They examine his 64-year artistic career, first as an illustrator and then a painter, revealing how his technique evolved and how his schooling and the artistic movements of his time informed his work. Additional contributions by noted art historians focus on particular paintings and certain aspects of the artist’s work, including his promotion of American Indian rights.

As the only book of its kind available on this influential artist, In Contemporary Rhythm is a major contribution to American art history. It is also a visual feast.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Peter H. Hassrick is Director of the Petrie Instutite of Western American Art, Denver Art Museum, and the author or coauthor of numerous books, including (with Linda Bantel) Forging an American Identity: The Art of William Ranney.

Elizabeth J. Cunningham, an independent art scholar, curator, lecturer, and writer who lives in Joseph, Oregon, is an authority on Blumenschein.

Lewis I. Sharp is Frederick and Jan Mayer Director, Denver Art Museum.

Cathy L. Wright is Director, The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History.

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Table of Contents

Foreword James K. Ballinger Ballinger, James K. Lewis I. Sharp Sharp, Lewis I. Cathy L. Wright Wright, Cathy L.

Acknowledgments

Introduction Peter H. Hassrick Hassrick, Peter H. Elizabeth J. Cunningham Cunningham, Elizabeth J. 3

Ch. 1 Building Color Muscle: The Path to Painting, 1874-1909 Elizabeth J. Cunningham Cunningham, Elizabeth J. 11

Ch. 2 In Search of the Real Thing: Blumenschein in the 1910s Peter H. Hassrick Hassrick, Peter H. 65

Superstition and the Artist's Defense of Native Rights Skip Keith Miller Miller, Skip Keith 119

Ch. 3 Chasing Rainbows: Taos in the 1920s Peter H. Hassrick Hassrick, Peter H. 129

The Extraordinary Affray: Indians and Identity Sarah E. Boehme Boehme, Sarah E. 197

Ch. 4 Blumenschein, Modernism, and National Art in the 1930s Elizabeth J. Cunningham Cunningham, Elizabeth J. 203

Ourselves and Taos Neighbors: Portrait Group of "Notorious Taos Freaks" Skip Keith Miller Miller, Skip Keith 245

Ch. 5 In Contemporary Rhythm: The Search for Final Perfection Elizabeth J. Cunningham Cunningham, Elizabeth J. 253

Twelve Men, Listening: Blumenschein's Struggle with Murder, Justice, and the Inarticulate Soul of America James Moore Moore, James 290

Modernism and the Art of Ernest L. Blumenschein Jerry N. Smith Smith, Jerry N. 304

Chronology Elizabeth J. Cunningham Cunningham, Elizabeth J. 319

Exhibition Checklist 331

Notes 337

Selected Bibliography 379

Index 385

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