The Museum Association of Taos (MAT)
The Museum Association of Taos (MAT) is a nonprofit association of five separate museums whose unique historic buildings and exceptional collections present the art, history, and culture of Taos and northern New Mexico. Museums include the Taos Art Museum at Fechin House, the Millicent Rogers Museum, the Harwood Museum of Art, and the Taos Historic Museums, comprising the E.L. Blumenschein Home and La Hacienda de Los Martinez.
Located one block southwest of Taos Plaza on historic Ledoux Street, the Harwood Museum of Art is home to the works of Taos' and Northern New Mexico's best-known artists, past and present, as well as a collection of 18th to 20th-century traditional work. Today, it offers a full complement of courses, seminars, exhibitions, performances, and more. The museum site was purchased by artists Burt and Elizabeth Harwood back in 1916 and has served as a cultural hub ever since. In 1935, the Harwood Foundation was given to the University of New Mexico (UNM). Discover more at HarwoodMuseum.org.
The E.L. Blumenschein Home and Museum is maintained much as it was when the artist and his family were alive. The home is filled with a superb collection of the Blumenschein family's art, a representative sampling of works by other famous Taos artists, fine European and Spanish Colonial style antiques, and the family's lifetime of personal possessions. The home beautifully illustrates the lifestyle of Taos artists in the first half of the twentieth century and commemorates the formation of the Taos Society of Artists (often credited to E.L. Blumenschein) and the establishing of Taos as a world-renowned art colony. The E.L. Blumenschein Home and Museum was registered as a National Historic Landmark in 1966. Visit TaosHistoricMuseums.org for more information.
From May through October, you can visit the homes and studios of E. I. Couse, one of the founding members of the Taos Society of Artists and its first President, and Joseph H. Sharp, also a founding member. It is the only surviving intact home and studio complex of a founder of the internationally-known Society and Art Colony that established Taos as the origin of today’s widely emulated Southwest art genre. The site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (2005), the New Mexico Register of Cultural Properties (2004), and as a National Trust Historic Artist’s Studio (2002) – one of only 35 such properties nationwide. Learn more at Couse-Sharp.org.
The museum is in the home of frontiersman Kit Carson and his wife Josefa where they raised their children between 1843 to 1867. Built around 1825, the building is an example of territorial and Spanish Colonial architecture, with adobe walls more than two feet thick. It is open to the public and receives over 20,000 visitors a year from all over the world. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1963 by the National Park Service. Visit KitCarsonHomeAndMuseum.com for more visitor information.
One of the few northern New Mexico style, late Spanish Colonial period "Great Houses" remaining in the American Southwest, this fortress-like building with massive adobe walls was built in 1804 and was once an important trade center for the northern boundary of the Spanish Empire. Today, its twenty-one rooms surrounding two courtyards provide the visitor with a rare glimpse of the rugged frontier life and times of the early 1800s. Regularly scheduled demonstrations present the continuing traditions of northern New Mexico. The Hacienda is on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior. Learn more by visiting TaosHistoricMuseums.org.
Experience all the cultures of the Southwest under one roof. Twenty galleries and exhibition spaces exploring the heritage of the Hispanic, Native American, and Anglo arts of the Southwest, started with Millicent Rogers' distinguished collection of Native American silver and turquoise jewelry, and Navajo and Rio Grande weavings. Over the course of more than fifty years, the Museum's collections have grown to include traditional and contemporary Hispanic religious and domestic arts, pottery, paintings, photography, and graphics, and a wide range of arts and crafts from the many cultures of northern New Mexico. On permanent display is a unique collection of pottery by the famed Maria Martinez. The Hispanic collections feature religious sculpture and painting, Spanish Colonial furniture, and textiles. See MillicentRogers.org for more information.
Half a mile north of Taos Plaza is the Taos Art Museum at the Fechin House, dedicated to the art of early twentieth century Taos. The museum is housed in the studio and home that artist Nicolai Fechin built for his family between 1927 and 1933. The heart of the museum is a collection of paintings by the masters of the Taos Society of Artists — a collection of approximately 600 paintings, drawings, prints and other artifacts of the Taos Society of Artists. Learn more at TaosArtMuseum.org.