Ernest Blumenschein - 1874 - 1960

Ernest L. Blumenschein was far and away the most well known of theTaospainters during his lifetime. His painstakingly executed canvases, in his distinctive style that was first called “post-impressionist” and later modernist, garnered him a wide and appreciative audience, and numerous awards. Ernest Blumenschein paintings today are held by the most important museum collections in theUnited States.

Ernest Blumenschein was born inPittsburgh,Pennsylvania, to parents of German descent, and raised inDayton,Ohio. His father was a professional musician and composer, who chiefly made his living as a conductor of large choruses. The young Ernest Blumenschein excelled at music from the beginning, and his father had high hopes that he would follow his footsteps and become a professional.  When Ernest showed an interest in art, his father only pushed him harder to stay devoted to music, feeling that was where his greatest talent lay.

Ernest Blumenschein settled permanently inTaosin 1919 and remained inTaosfor the rest of his life, though at one point he began to spend winters inAlbuquerque, where it was not quite as cold. Even when he was eighty years old, he still labored as diligently over his canvases as he ever had. When he died in 1960, he was the most famous resident ofTaos, and six years later the Ernest L. Blumenschein home was designated as a National Historic Landmark.

Today, Blumenschein’s work is held by the most prestigious museums in the country, including theMuseumofModern Art,New York, the Metropolitan, and the Smithsonian Institution. Ernest Blumenschein once said that he considered his greatest artistic heroes to be Shakespeare, Michelangelo, El Greco, Beethoven, and Bach. It is fitting that he too became preeminent among artists in his lifetime and has gone down as one of the most important painter’s in American history.

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.

In Contemporary Rhythm: The Art of Ernest L. Blumenschein




Museum Collections

Stark Museumof Art

ArizonaState University Art Museum

Colorado SpringsFineArtsCenter

Dallas Museumof Art

DenverArt Museum

EiteljorgMuseumofAmerican Indiansand Western Art


Jonson Gallery of University ofNew Mexico

MuseumofArtatBrighamYoung University

MuseumofNew Mexico

Museum of The Southwest

National AcademyofDesign Museum

National Arts Club

National Cowboy andWesternHeritageMuseum

Oklahoma CityMuseumof Art

Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum

Phoenix Art Museum

RockfordArt Museum


Sangre De Cristo Arts Center

SmithsonianAmericanArt Museum

The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art

TheHarwoodMuseumof Art



University of Wyoming Art Museum

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