Taos Area Museums
Blumenschein Home & Museum
Address: 222 Ledoux Street
Located on historic Ledoux Street near downtown Taos, the E.L. Blumenschein Home and Museum is maintained in a condition that is very similar to when the artist and his family lived here. The house is filled with a collection of the Blumenschein family’s art. Also a collection of works by other famous Taos artists and European and Spanish Colonial antiques. The home showcases the lifestyle of many Taos artists in the first half of the twentieth century.
Governor Bent House and Museum
Addess: 117 Bent Street,Taos, NM 87571
The Governor Bent House and Museum and Gallery of Western Art is the home of New Mexico’s first American governor. Charles Bent was also an early trader, trapper and mountain man. He owned trading posts in Santa Fe and Taos and engaged in trade with early mountain men. He provide various supplies and bought furs. Along with his brother William, and Ceran St. Vrain they built Bent’s Fort in southern Colorado. It is well known as a trading center for the Indians and early mountain men.
Charles Bent was appointed Governor of New Mexico in 1834 when New Mexico became an American territory during the Mexican War. Then, in January of 1847, he was killed by an angry mob which was protesting the American rule. The Governor Bent House is the scene of his death and also shows the secret passageway whereby his family escaped. The Bent House and Museum is located one block north of the Plaza and a half block west of the Taos Inn on Bent Street.
Address: 23 Ledoux
This museum is walking distance from the Taos plaza. Connected with the University of New Mexico, the Harwood Museum has both a permanent collection as well as ever-changing exhibits of modern art. A recent $6.3 million addition to the Harwood Musuem has added new galleries, curatorial space, and a 130-seat state-of-the-art auditorium to the state’s second-oldest museum (built in 1924). As stated on their web site: “The mission of the Harwood Museum of Art of the University of New Mexico is to collect, preserve, exhibit and interpret the arts, especially those created in, inspired by or relevant to northern New Mexico. The museum advances the University’s mission and engages diverse audiences by stimulating learning, creativity and research through exhibitions, programs and publications.”
Kit Carson Home and Museum
Address: 113 Kit Carson Road
One of the oldest museums in Taos, the Kit Carson Home is just a block from the Plaza. The museum does a great job of showing the life of this illustrious frontiersman. In addition to a wonderful collection in several rooms, there are ongoing activities, events and lectures. Enjoy a living history interpretive tour with video and a fun gift shop. Kit Carson and his wife are buried in Taos in the Cemetery in the Taos Park.
La Hacienda de los Martinez
Address: 708 Hacienda Rd., off Ranchitos Rd., NM 240
This museum is a short drive and/or bike ride from downtown. More than any other museum in Taos you will really get the feel for frontier life. The Hacienda de los Martinez is one of the few northern New Mexico buildings of the late Spanish Colonial period. Built in 1804 by Severino Martin (later changed to Martinez), this fort like adobe building was an important trade center for the northern boundary of the Spanish Empire. In it’s day many families lived and worked inside this historic structure. The Hacienda was the final point for the Camino Real which connected northern New Mexico to Mexico City. The Hacienda was the headquarters for an enormous ranching and farming operation. Today the Hacienda’s twenty-one rooms surrounded two courtyards. They provide you with a feeling of the rugged frontier life and times of the early 1800s.
Mabel Dodge Lujan House
Address: 240 Morada Lane, Taos, NM 87571
This is a fun museum for all ages. During the 1920s, with the arrival of New York arts patron and lover Mabel Dodge, Taos gained a reputation as a creative refuge for artists, writers and members of the international intelligentsia. Situated at the end of a quiet little road close to the center of Taos (you can easily walk from downtown) the house interior appears much as it did in the days when Mabel had parties and admired views of the sacred Taos Mountain from the third-story solarium which you can visit. Georgia O’Keeffe, D.H. Lawrence, Carl Jung, Martha Graham, Willa Cather, Ansell Adams and many other famous art personalities came to stay, create art and enjoy Taos.
Millicent Rogers Museum
Address: 1504 Millicent Rogers Road, Taos, NM 87571
This museum is north of Taos and well worth a visit. The art patron Millicent Rogers settled in Taos in 1947. In addition to being a fashion designer, she was also a passionate collector of many forms of art. Over the years she assembled a rich collection of Native American silver and turquoise jewelry and Navajo and Rio Grande weavings and pottery from various pueblos. Today the Museum’s collection includes traditional and contemporary Hispanic religious and domestic arts, pottery, paintings, photography and graphics. On permanent display is a collection of pottery by the famed artist Maria Martinez. You will gain a valuable insight into historical art of the Southwest that is rarely seen assembled in one place.
Taos Art Museum and Fechin House
Address: 227 Paseo del Pueblo Norte
You will find this museum located directly next to the Kit Carson park, an easy walk from downtown. You don’t have to be an art lover to enjoy this museum because the house is simply fun to walk through combining art, history, architecture in an unusual manner. The Taos Art Museum is dedicated to the art of early twentieth century Taos artists. The museum is located in the studio and home of artist Nicolai Fechin. He built the home for his family between 1927 and 1933. Fechin was born in Kazan, Russia in 1881. What you experience as you walk through the museum/home is a unique collection of art and Russian, Native American, and Spanish symbology. Fechin’s heirs entrusted many of his art works to the care of Taos Art Museum. There is also a nice collection of paintings by the masters of the Taos Society of Artists. This group was prolific from the arrival in Taos of artists Blumenschein and Phillips in 1898.