In Contemporary Rhythm: The Art of Ernest L. Blumenschein | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/book-review/contemporary-rhythm-art-ernest-l-blumenschein[12/8/2015 1:12:56 PM] Home In Contemporary Rhythm: The Art of Ernest L. BlumenscheinIn Contemporary Rhythm: The Art of Ernest L. BlumenscheinSubmitted by cowestadmin on 9-26-2009 08:11 PMAuthor: Peter H. Hassrick and Elizabeth J. Cunningham Publishing: Contributing writers: Skip Keith Miller, Sarah E. Boehme, James Moore, and Jerry N. Smith. Foreword by James K. Ballinger, Lewis I. Sharp, and Cathy L. Wright. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Index, selected bibliography, endnotes, timeline, 132 color plates, 24 b&w illustrations. 399 pages. 12" x 10". $55.00 hardcover, $34.95 paperback. Reviewer: Evelyn Rae Stool Waldron In Contemporary Rhythm: The Art of Ernest L. Blumenschein is the companion catalogue to a Denver Art Museum exhibition of the same name. It is the second volume in the Charles M. Russell Center Series on Art and Photography of the American West. Authored by Peter H. Hassrick and Elizabeth J. Cunningham with essays by Skip Keith Miller, Sarah E. Boehme, James Moore, and Jerry N. Smith, this book is an academic analysis of Blumenscheins life and artistic methods as well as a history of the Taos Society of Artists. Peter H. Hassrick is the director of the Petrie Institute of Western American Art at the Denver Art Museum and Elizabeth J. Cunningham, former curator of the Philip Anschutz Collection, is an independent art scholar and authority on Blumenschein. Peter Hassrick states in the introduction that the purpose of this book and the accompanying retrospective exhibition is to explore in depth the dimensions of Blumenschein's multifaceted life and to build upon the broad public and academic enthusiasm that has followed the artist for many years (5). The book consists of five chronological chapters and four essays devoted to specific paintings: Ourselves and Our Taos Neighbors; Twelve Men, Listening; Superstition; and The Extraordinary Affair. Ernest L. Blumenscheins influence on American art and the influence of Modernism on the Taos artists are also reviewed. Ernest Blumenschein and his studio partner from New York, Bert Geer Phillips, headed to the West in 1898. On their way from Denver to New Mexico, a wheel on their wagon broke. Phillips stayed with the wagon while Blumenschein took the horse and broken wheel to Taos for help. Both Blumenschein and Phillips fell in love with the Taos valley. Blumenschein traveled between Taos and the East for many years before finally moving his family west. Phillips stayed and married the sister of the town doctor. Blumenschein, Phillips, and many others turned Taos into an art colony, founding the Taos Society of Artists with Joseph Henry Sharp, William Herbert Dunton, E. Irving Couse, and Oscar Berninghaus. Blumenschein became an advocate for the native peoples of New Mexico. He depicted Indians as defenders of their way of life and from their own perspective. For example, Blumenschein painted Superstition in 1921 in response to Bureau of Indian Affairs Circular 1665, the Religious Crimes Code, which denied EXPLORE BY MEDIABook Reviews Photographs Video Biographies New Publications Resource Guides County Newspaper HistoriesEXPLORE BY TOPICLand & Natural Resources Government & Law Agriculture Mining Commerce & Industry Transportation People & Places Communication Healthcare & Medicine Education & Libraries Cultural Communities Recreation & Entertainment Tourism ReligionEXPLORE BY CULTUREHispanic Native AmericanThe Ute people have lived in Colorado longer than anyone else.
In Contemporary Rhythm: The Art of Ernest L. Blumenschein | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/book-review/contemporary-rhythm-art-ernest-l-blumenschein[12/8/2015 1:12:56 PM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations About Us Contact Us Indians the right to practice their religion. According to Skip Keith Miller, Superstitio n then becomes one of several social commentary paintings by a scant few New Mexico painters creating art in the 1910s and early 1920swho addressed these cruel and culturally repressive federal mandates (123). Blumenscheins work was respectful and sympathetic to the Indian and Hispanic cultures. The Plasterer, painted in 1921, depicted the laborer with plaster trowel in hand before a fireplace. The scene included pueblo pottery, jewelry, and rugs, celebrating the values of handwork and the images of Hispanic and Indian culture. In an adobe village, the plasterer had an integral responsibility in keeping the village standing. The subject for this painting was Blumenscheins neighbor, Epimenio Tenorio. Blumenschein regarded this painting as one of my best (145). The retrospective exhibition documented by this catalogue contains over sixty paintings, including fifty major works by Blumenschein. All of the paintings from the exhibition are included in the catalogue with analysis and history. Blumenscheins career from illustrator, teacher, and painter is documented. The selfportrait he submitted, as a requirement for membership, to the National Academy of Design in 1911 is included as well as many other award-winning paintings. Blumenschein created slightly more than 400 works and it is believed that he destroyed around 150 of them. This oversized book is much more than the typical museum exhibition coffee table book. The illustrations are spectacular and make a good attempt at capturing the grandeur of the paintings. The scholarship is insightful and sheds light on the paintings as well as the history of the events of Blumenscheins time. Reviewer Info: Evelyn Waldron is a graduate student in history at University of Colorado Denver where she is a King Intern at the Center for Colorado & the West and the co-editor of the University of Colorado Historical Studies Journal. Her field of study is Western American history and art. She is on the staff of the Denver Art Museum. Add new comment