Taos Historic Museums

Taos, NM




Charles Berninghaus Retrospective

August 18-October 31, 2001


Over a period of ten years, each of the founding artists of the Taos Society of Artists was featured in an exhibit at the Blumenschein Home and Museum. These shows took place during the annual Taos Fall Arts Festival, and were very well received.

The Taos Historic Museums has decided to carry on this tradition, by starting to feature a "second wave" of Taos artists. The Blumenschein Home has been beautifully restored and will make a perfect venue for the continuation of these art exhibits.

The first artist to be featured is Charles Berninghaus (1905-1988). He was the son of Oscar E. Berninghaus, following in his footsteps as an artist.but not in the style associated with his father. Charles Berninghaus, an impressionist landscape painter, came by art quite naturally as his father, Oscar E. Berninghaus, had already made a name for himself in the art world by the time Charles was born. Oscar first arrive in Taos in 1899 and was one of the six founders of the Taos Society of Artists, that well-known group that even today is known for the outstanding work of its members produced. (left: Charles Berninghaus (1905-1988, Fall Along the River, 12 x 16, oil, 1950. Private Collection)

Charles grew up in St. Louis, attended art school there as well as the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Students League in New York. Having spent every summer from the age of five in Taos, New Mexico, his heart was there, and not in the hustle and bustle of the big cities. He moved permanently to Taos in 1927, preferring its clear skies to the overcrowded environment of New York.. He had the good fortune to know all the early Taos artists and learn from them.

Berninghaus painted out of doors almost exclusively, and painted very fast to catch the light of the moment. Most of the time, he used only one brush, wiping it clean before each change of color. Landscapes and floral scenes of the Taos area characterize Charles' work. Landscapes are most common, as Charles loved the country, flowers, trees, and streams of New Mexico. He always said: "Why paint anything Unpleasant"

This show will feature about 40 paintings on loan from private owners and the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas. The Canyon museum has the largest public collection of Charles Berninghaus works.

An opening reception will take place at the Blumenschein Home on August 18, 2001 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

The E. L. Blumenschein Home is located at 222 Ledoux Street, a block and a 1/2 from Taos Plaza. Summer hours are 9 - 5 daily April - October. Please contact the museum for winter hours. The postal address for Taos Historic Museums is Drawer CCC, Taos, New Mexico, 87571. Taos Historic Museums also operates The Kit Carson Museum and The Hacienda de los Martinez.

Read more articles and essays concerning this source by visiting the sub-index page for the Taos Historic Museums in Resource Library Magazine.

For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

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This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 6/2/11

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