John Dunn

The man and his legacy 

By Cindy Brown

The life of Long John Dunn is a study in contrasts and a portrait of resilience. 

Dunn was imprisoned in Texas, yet escaped and became known as the King of Taos. He admitted to his own sleight of hand in gambling, but also was a respected member of the Taos community. He arrived in Taos with nothing, but through sheer determination and a bit of luck, went on to own four saloons, a gambling hall, a hotel, two bridges, a livery stable and to control most of the transportation in and out of Taos for close to 30 years. In Max Evan’s 1959 biography of Dunn, “Long John Dunn of Taos: from Texas Outlaw to New Mexico hero,” Evans says, “He lived in his ninety or more years one of the most incredible lives of any of the old-time westerners.” 

Dunn almost starved and escaped being killed many times, yet he survived to be 94 years old. What accounts for the near-miraculous life and luck of John Dunn or as he was known in Taos — Juan Largo?

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Great Galleries

Not-to-be-missed art galleries representing some of the best artists in El Norté

By Dena Miller & Photos by Sam Joseph

There are two types of people who visit Taos: those who come for the immersion in a culturally rich art colony and those who come for its many other notable attractions. If you fall into the latter camp, then allow this to serve as your road map for unlocking some of the art treasures to be found, for there are many.

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Museum Magic

Historical homes, exquisite fine art, regional jewelry and much more

By Jocelyne Kizziar & Photos by Sam Joseph 

This winter, step out of the cold and into the hearth of Taos Art and Culture. Several museums in town masterfully act as storytellers for one of the most culturally rich places in all of America and continue to shine a light on its future.

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Gallery Boomtown

Like everywhere, Taos felt the impacts of the pandemic, but this spunky mountain town took the lemons handed to it and made a pitcher of the proverbial lemonade. 

By dena miller    
Chimayo Trading, Photo By Sam Joseph

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Gaze ‘Through the Eyes of Fechin’

The home of a renaissance man

By Tamra Testerman

After an invigorating morning on the slopes of the Taos Ski Valley, or a high alpine hike, the day may call for some indoor culture, and good local food conveniently close to your destination. Taos is home to many galleries, museums and historic sites, all within an easy drive from the center of town. 

A favorite for visitors from around the world is Taos Art Museum at Fechin House, 227 Paseo Del Pueblo Norte. The Fechin House, built by Russian artist Nicolai Fechin (1881-1955) is said to be his love for his family made manifest in art. The 4,000 square-foot, asymmetrical adobe Pueblo and Mission Revival house, with 24-inch walls, is a breathtaking example of Southwest architecture and is an epochal landmark in the architectural landscape of Taos. Fechin’s mastery of metalwork, sculpture, wood carving, painting and drawing is never more clear than in the house that Fechin built.

The current exhibition, “Through the Eyes of Fechin” features paintings, drawings, sculptures and photographs from private collections not exhibited before in the same space.

Courtesy Taos Art Museum at Fechin House

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TJ Mabrey

The City of Albuquerque acquires Taos artist TJ Mabrey sculpture for the Public Art Collection

The story behind TJ Mabrey’s sculpture, “Three Sisters,” is complicated. It’s related to agriculture; and it speaks to survival from agriculture – for both the human race and our home, the Earth. Continue reading “TJ Mabrey”

Crown Jewels

Taos museums survive and thrive in 2021

By Dena Miller

Notable exhibitions and big dreams are in the works for Taos museums: Couse-Sharp Historic Site; Harwood Museum of Art; Millicent Rogers Museum; Taos Art Museum at Fechin House; and Taos Historic Museums. Continue reading “Crown Jewels”

A Call to Passion

While Taos has been welcoming a wave of new home owners, the art community has likewise opened its arms to four new galleries in town.

by dena miller

Toby Putnam – via Montana – opened his gallery LUN + ojo (111 Paseo del Pueblo Norte) in December 2020, and now, he’s “doing exactly what I want to do.”  Under the watchful eyes of a taxidermy bison head (“Hunted by bow and arrow 40 years ago”), Putnam and his canine buddy, Buck, welcome you to what he affectionately refers to as “curated chaos.”

LUN+ojo gallery opened December 2020. Courtesy Toby Putnam

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Arts Alive

Angel Fire art and businesses are back

By Jacqui Binford-Bell

Arts in Angel Fire and the Moreno Valley may not be as easy to find now as they once were. There used to be two galleries: The Rupp Gallery and Arts Space Gallery. But as respective owners Carol Rupp and Katherine McDermott discovered, you can either create art or sell it.

Wood-fire pottery by Jo DeKeuster of Enchanted Circle Pottery. Check out the 4th Annual Angel Fire Studio Tour Sept. 26 and 27, 2021. 

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Elusive Time

The journey to Taos for artists Lucy and Dirk Herrman always seemed to them a foregone conclusion.

By Dena Miller

“It was just an intuitive thing, that somehow I just knew we would live in New Mexico,” Lucy said, and Dirk concurred. “We moved a lot but on our first visit here we knew this was going to be ‘home.’ It was an immediate, powerful draw.”

‘Thunderhead 2,’ oil on canvas by Dirk Herrman

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At the Harwood

One venue the pandemic has been unable to dim is the Harwood Museum of Art. Even when you cannot visit in person, executive director Juniper Leherissey Manley and staff have continued to curate first-rate exhibitions that shine like beacons in these difficult times.

By Dena Miller

Summer 2021 will be no exception. In addition to extending its popular juried exhibit of local talent — Contemporary Art/Taos 2020 — the Harwood welcomes summer season with two new shows — one, a journey into an ephemeral, atmospheric otherworld; the other — solidly, down-home Northern New Mexico. 

‘Lowrider Shrine, El Rito, New Mexico, 1997,’ by Nicholas Herrera. Photo by Siegfried Halus. Courtesy of the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives (NMHM/DCA), HP.2017.38.3.

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