Taos society of artists

DEFINITION

An organization formed in 1915 in Taos, New Mexico, its first members were resident painters Joseph Henry Sharp, Ernest Blumenschein, Bert Geer Phillips, Oscar Berninghaus, E. Irving Couse, W. Herbert Dunton, Walter Ufer and Victor Higgins. The organization grew from this early group, who had called themselves "Los Ochos Pintores" to 18 members with Kenneth Miller Adams being the last elected artist and Catharine Critcher being the only female member. Criteria for membership was residency in Taos for three successive years and prize received in a national art exhibition. The purpose of the Taos Society of Artists was to combine their resources to generate paintings to be shipped east on the Santa Fe Railroad and to secure exhibition venues. The chief sponsor was the railroad, which acquired a now-valuable collection of work by the TSA artists. By 1922, a traveling TSA exhibition was circulating twice a year to major American cities, and was successful in bringing attention and sales to Taos artists. However, the association did not hold together because of members' personality and artistic differences. Sources: Arrell Gibson, "The Santa Fe and Taos Art Colonies"; Dean Porter, etc., "Taos Artists and Their Patrons"

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