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Taos Historic Site’s Triple Event Kicks Off in July - Couse-Sharp Historic Site

Posted Jun 22, 2017

On July 1, the Couse-Sharp Historic Site will host a free talk and book signing by E. Jane Burns, author of a book just published by the Couse Foundation. Her talk, “Adventures in the Archives: The Process of Researching and Writing The Couse Collection of Pueblo Pottery,” will begin at 3:30 p.m. at the Couse House, 146 Kit Carson Road, followed by a question and answer session.

Burns’ presentation coincides with the opening of an exhibition in the site’s Luna Chapel called Seldom Seen: Archival Stories, illustrating the important role archives play in the research and interpretation of the Taos Society of Artists (TSA). 

The public can also take advantage of the site’s regular first Saturday 3-5 p.m. open house to tour the home and studio of E. I. Couse. “You’ll be able to see the Pueblo pots in Couse’s collection, arrayed in the artist’s painting studio, largely as he left them in 1936,” said Davison Koenig, CSHS executive director and curator.

Also open for viewing will be Virginia Couse’s Heritage Garden and the newly restored studio and exhibition Joseph Henry Sharp: The Life and Work of an American Legend.

The Couse Collection of Pueblo Pottery book, which will be available for sale at the event, provides a unique view of the Pueblo pots collected by Couse, founding member of the TSA, many of which appear in his paintings. The author’s talk will chronicle her two-year journey of research and writing.

“My work progressed from an initial study of the Pueblo pots to an examination of key archival materials,” Burns said. “Couse’s photo studies of Native American models posed among Native pots became an organizing principle for the book.”

Full-page color photos with informative captions detail more than 70 of the largest pots in the Collection, many of which are also shown in previously unpublished photo studies made by Couse. The photo studies document the artist’s abiding interest in the creative processes of Pueblo pottery and show how Couse staged Native pottery making in his paintings. The book also shows Pueblo

Pottery and Tesuque tiles incorporated into the architecture of the house. A complete inventory of all pots in the collection, including smaller pieces and miniatures, is included.

The Seldom Seen: Archival Stories exhibition demonstrates how seemingly insignificant objects and materials can have the ability to tell profound stories. The exhibition, which highlights recently donated or promised archival materials and artwork of the TSA, will run through Oct. 28.

“The Couse Foundation has embarked on a capital campaign to fund the building of an archive and research facility for the TSA at the Couse-Sharp Historic Site,” Koenig noted. “This exhibition will help raise awareness of the importance of archives in our understanding of these American visionaries.”

“The archive will provide the resources necessary for students and scholars to interpret and relate the history of one of the most important artist colonies in the history of the United States,” Koenig said.

At a Glance: July 1, Couse-Sharp Historic Site, 146 Kit Carson Road, 3-5 p.m.
• Exhibition opening: Seldom Seen: Archival Stories, Luna Chapel building
• Open house with docents: E. I. Couse Home and Studio, Virginia Couse Heritage Garden, and Joseph Henry Sharp: The Life and Work of an American Legend exhibition in Sharp’s 2nd Studio, 3:30 p.m.
• Informal talk by author E. Jane Burns: “Adventures in the Archives: The Process of Researching and Writing The Couse Collection of Pueblo Pottery”
• Book signing to follow

Things to know if you go:
• The July 1 events at the Couse-Sharp Historic Site are free to the public; donations accepted
• Ample parking available at the free municipal lot about a half block east of the site on Kit Carson Road
• Because of the site’s nature as a place of historic preservation, the buildings and grounds are not ADA accessible

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