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Archive and Research Center Receives Major Grant - Couse-Sharp Historic Site

Posted May 15, 2018

The Couse Foundation is pleased and honored to report that The Lunder Foundation of Portland, Maine is providing a grant of $600,000 in support of the Taos Society of Artists archive and research center. The center will be located in the Mission Gallery building on Kit Carson Road in Taos, New Mexico that is being acquired by The Couse Foundation later this year. After the building is rehabilitated and repurposed it will be known as The Lunder Research Center. Additionally, at the request of The Lunder Foundation and with the unanimous support of The Couse Foundation’s board of directors, the main gallery and reception room in The Lunder Research Center will be named in honor of Dean A. Porter. Dr. Porter is a nationally known scholar and author who has devoted much of his career to scholarship relating to the Taos Society of Artists. Dr. Porter serves as an Advisory Director for The Couse Foundation.

“This grant from The Lunder Foundation is by far the largest single gift in the history of The Couse Foundation. It is a significant endorsement of our vision and will ensure the realization of our goal to create a research center of national importance at the Couse-Sharp Historic Site,” said Carl Jones, President of The Couse Foundation.

Peter and Paula Lunder, principals of The Lunder Foundation, have stated, “We are very pleased to be able to support this project, which we feel is an important addition to the resources available for the study and appreciation of American art.”

The Lunder Research Center will be the repository for documents and art created, and artifacts collected, by the twelve members of the Taos Society of Artists and scholarly materials relating to the group. These materials include original documents and personal correspondence, photographic prints and negatives, sketchbooks, original works of art, and Native American ethnographic items. The facility will also be home to a research center and library that will welcome scholars, students and authors who wish to conduct research relating to the Taos Society of Artists and its individual members. The Lunder Research Center will be a major enhancement to the campus at the Couse-Sharp Historic Site and will further elevate the reputation of Taos as an artistic community of international importance.

In 1915, six American-born, European-trained artists founded the Taos Society of Artists with the mission to promote the authentically American Native art and culture of the Southwest. The group grew to include 12 active members and several more associate and honorary members.

[Shown above: Taos Society of Artists in Couse garden, 1932 - (Back row) Ufer, Dunton, Higgins, Adams. (Seated) Hennings, Phillips, Couse, Berninghaus. (Front row) Sharp, Blumenschein. Missing: Critcher and Rolshoven.]
[Shown at top: Couse and Sharp]

The Couse-Sharp Historic Site reflects the original goals of these artists and continues to promote their mission. The Site includes the home and studio of E. I. Couse, the garden designed by his wife, Virginia, the workshops of his son, Kibbey, and the two studios of his neighbor and fellow artist, J. H. Sharp. Couse’s studio and darkroom are maintained in a state very close to how he left them upon his death in 1936. The Site also brings to light the contributions of the models from Taos Pueblo and other indigenous groups who sat for their paintings, as well as the Native artists whose work was collected and used by both artists.

All public areas of the site can be toured by appointment, which can be made on the website or by calling the site office at 575-751-0369.

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