Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Russian Artist in Taos

We also went to the Taos Art Museum which is housed in the home portrait artist Nicholai Fechin. Fechin (1881-1955) was born in Russia and trained at the Imperial Art Academy in St. Petersburg. He was well known in his own country before arriving in the United States in 1923 and he built this house in Taos between 1927 and 1933.

Though the Taos Art Museum wasn't large, it was housed in someones home after all, it had a very nice collection from area artists many whom were in the Taos Art Society. The Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis has a wonderful collection from Taos Art Society of artists and they've been some of my favorite artists since I first saw their work when I was in high school. It was exciting to not only see more of their artwork but to be in the environment they painted in.

Fechin himself designed the house and carved the extraordinary woodwork in the home. Once I was in the museum I was easily enamored with the actual house and often forgot the artwork on the walls. The house is a mix of Russian, Spanish and Pueblo styles.

Much of the woodwork was done by Fechin with intricate carved details. He carved stools, benches, decorative posts, closet doors...it was amazing!

I just loved this stairway!
Between the stairway and the fireplace I was ready to move into and live in this house.

Isn't the wood on this fireplace gorgeous? I could imagine pueblo pottery or bones and rocks sitting on top.

Behind the house, Fechin had built his studio which is now the museum gift shop. Actually his studio was built before the house and that's where the family resided during construction of the home. I didn't get many pictures of the studio but these huge windows allowed a wonderful quality of light into the room. I can easily see how an artist could paint all day in a room like this.

By this time my monkeys were getting a bit tired of being drug to museums between sledding and McDonald's meals. They weren't always excited about posing for pictures...can you tell?

I bet you are kind of tired about reading all these posts about Taos too aren't you?
No worries, I promise, tomorrow's is the last one and probably my favorite; The Martinez Hacienda!


  1. New Mexico is one state I have never been. I love your Taos updates. The staircase is stunningly rustic and I love it also.

  2. I LOVE your posts! Kendal just came home with some information about Tomie dePaola, an author and artist. He wrote a story about how the paintbrush plant came by its name from Native American lore. LOVE that story! We have it here at home.

    Keep on traveling and posting!


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