‘Fall at Taos Pueblo’ by Juan Mirabal. Gift of Brad and Fran Taylor. Photo Courtesy of Robert L. Parsons Fine Art
‘Crossing the River’ by Albert Looking Elk Martinez. Gift of Brad and Fran Taylor. Photo Courtesy of Robert L. Parsons Fine Art
The Millicent Rogers Museum (MRM) in Taos has received the gift of 42 paintings by Taos Pueblo artists Albert Lujan, Albert Looking Elk Martinez and Juan Mirabal. Brad and Fran Taylor of Madison, Wisc. donated the collection to the museum.
“We are thrilled beyond belief by the major gift of this significant collection of works by the three most famous Taos Pueblo artists,” MRM Executive Director Peter S. Seibert said. “While the museum had a few works by two of these artists, thanks to the Taylors’ generosity, we now have the largest public collection of paintings by these three incredible artists.”
The gift consists of original oil paintings and some drawings done by the three leading artists at Taos Pueblo who painted in a representational academic style during the mid-20th century. Albert Looking Elk Martinez (circa 1888-1940) began his interests in the arts by modeling for Irving Couse (one of the founders of the Taos Society of Artists).
Later, Oscar Berninghaus, also a founder of the Taos Society of Artists, gave him an art lesson. His works are noted for their accurate depictions of the Taos Pueblo-his home-as well as the brilliant atmospherics and moods of his paintings. Albert Lujan (1892-1948) was an untrained artist whose works exclusively were of the Taos Pueblo. His stark images of the Pueblo are both aesthetically beautiful and historically important visual texts. Juan Mirabal (1903-1970) is the most elusive of the three painters. A student of modernists Louis Ribak and Marjorie Eaton, Mirabal’s works reflect the color and structure of modernism.
“We are so appreciative of Mr. and Mrs. Taylor’s generosity in placing this world-class collection with the museum. These three artists are an important part of the heritage of both Taos Pueblo and the town of Taos. The museum also wishes to thank Robert Parsons who played a critical role in bringing this collection to the museum,” said John Crouch, President, Board of Trustees, Millicent Rogers Museum.
The gift of the collection was announced at the museum’s annual Turquoise Gala to an excited audience of more than 170 museum friends and supporters. The collection will be placed on exhibit at the museum beginning in September of 2014.
‘Taos Pueblo’ by Albert Lujan. Gift of Brad and Fran Taylor. Photo Courtesy of Robert L. Parsons Fine Art