Pressing Through Time: 150 Years of Printmaking in Taos


House_in_Taos (1)
House in Taos, 1939, by Jerry Bywaters; Bywaters Special Collections, Gift of Jerry and Mary Bywaters


I just returned from Taos, New Mexico where I attended the symposium that was in conjunction with the exhibition Pressing Through Time – 150 Years of Printmaking in Taos co-curated by Dr. David Farmer, former director of DeGolyer Library, SMU. Two lithographs from Bywaters Special Collections are included in the exhibition House in Taos by Jerry Bywaters and Five Crosses by Alexandre Hogueand are on view at the Harwood Museum of Art. Two additional prints from the Meadows Museum/University Art Collection are also included in the exhibition and are on view at the Taos Art Museum at Fechin House Sacred Place by Alexandre Hogue and Taos Sketch by Elizabeth Walmsley.

First of all, the symposium was outstanding! The speakers were experts in their field and the presentations covered the history of printmaking in Taos during the last 150 years.   It was good to be with both museum and art professionals, historians, and print enthusiasts/collectors who are interested in the history of printmaking in the southwest.

The day before the symposium, I visited museums and galleries that are part of the Pressing Through Time exhibition. My tour included the Couse-Sharp Historical Site, Harwood Museum of Art, Millicent Rogers Museum, Taos Art Museum at Fechin House, and Mission Gallery. The highlight of my museum/gallery tour was a visit with Virginia Couse Leavitt at the Couse-Sharp Historical Site. Her grandfather, Eanger Irving Couse, was one of the founding members of the Taos Society of Artists that was established in 1915. Coincidentally, the society’s centennial is currently being celebrated in Taos. Mrs. Leavitt and I had a very interesting conversation regarding her grandfather’s prints and the history behind the unusual edition numbers assigned to each print in the gallery.

The exhibition was an excellent way to promote the print/lithograph collection that is part of Bywaters Special Collections. The symposium enabled me to meet those who are working with printmaking collections that focus on the arts of the southwest and also allowed me to hear additional information about other southwestern artists who are contemporaries of Jerry Bywaters and Alexandre Hogue.

See more online content from the Hamon Arts Library and Bywaters Special Collections.

Learn more about the Bywaters Special Collections.

Thank you to Ellen Buie Niewyk, Curator of Bywaters Special Collections, for this guest blog!

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