Thursday, September 17, 2009
Last winter the Denver Art Museum hosted a special exhibit of Ernest L Blumenschein's paintings. Blumenschein was best known for his life in Taos, and for his founding of the Taos Society of Artists. Much of his work drew on his love of the Southwest, and after seeing the exhibition I was very eager to go see Taos for myself.
Arriving in Taos I was struck by how the reality of the town and my expectations clashed. I was expecting a much larger and more vertical town than I got, perhaps a place about the size of Durango. Actually Taos is fairly small, though for it's size it is a pretty spralling town. Very few of the buildings rise above a story, and almost all of them, even McDonalds, are built in Southwestern Adobe style.
A major item on our agenda for Taos was to get some Mexican food, and we found the perfect place for it, a delightful open patio restaurant a few blocks away from the main plaza. The food was amazing, and the "Tequila Wine" Margarita's were a delicious compliment to the meal.
In the southern side of town there is the San Francisco De Asis Church, and we felt that we should check it out, though by the time we arrived it had closed for the night, even though the sun had not yet set.
Artists say that the light in Taos is different, and I must agree. There was much more color in the light than I notice in Denver. While I don't know what the cause of the percevied difference is, I do know that I went crazy taking photographs of the sunset that evening.
For me breakfast the next morning was a plate of heuvos rancheros with a firey New Mexico red chili. From that excellent beginning we went to Kit Carson's house. The exterior was interesting, but the gift shop inside kind of turned us off, so we walked form there to the Blumenschein House instead. This was one of the best museum's of it's sort I've been to. The house itself was very cool in its design, and when I had finished I felt that I had learned something. The whole family were artist's, and the house had displays of both Blumenschein's work, and his Wife's and Daughter's paintings and illustrations as well.
Despite the massive breakfast I ate, when we sat down to lunch I suddenly found myself hungry again, and tucked into a plate of Tacos that were par for the course. That is to say they were utterly fantastic. Then it was time for the long drive back in to Denver.