Painting from Within: 100 Years of Dorothy Brett in Taos

Left: Photo of Dorothy Brett,  © J. Larry Nance, 1974 Right: Oil of Millicent Rogers by Dorothy Brett, done in 1950, oil on canvas, 1980.017.220
The Millicent Rogers Museum is proud to present an exhibition of the work of the Honorable Dorothy Brett.

“Painting from Within” explores Brett’s roles as a community member and artist who left a lasting legacy.

On display through
July 12 - October 30, 2024

Opening Reception
Come see the show and enjoy refreshments
July 12, from 5 - 7pm.
Tickets: Free for members - $15 for non-members

Tickets will also be available at the door.

The Millicent Rogers Museum presents Painting from Within: 100 Years of Dorothy Brett in Taos, an exhibition dedicated to presenting and honoring the legacy of famed Taos painter Dorothy Brett. This exhibition will open on July 12, 2024 and run through October 30, 2024, featuring works from numerous private collections in Taos, Santa Fe, and Albuquerque alongside pieces from the collection of the Millicent Rogers Museum. These loaned paintings have adorned the homes of their owners and maintain a constant presence of Brett in the lives of those who enjoy them. In many cases, this is the first time these works have been shared with the public in decades.

In the year 1924, the Honorable Dorothy Brett arrived in Taos, New Mexico. This trip to the American Southwest became the adventure that would go on to define her personal life and artistic career. Upon an invitation from novelist D. H. Lawrence, Brett left her life in England behind and found her new home in Taos. In the 100 years since this arrival, her images have become iconic representations of the people and landscape of Taos.

Through consultation with Taos Pueblo, the Millicent Rogers Museum has decided to refrain from displaying any of Brett’s paintings depicting Indigenous ceremony or dance. The exhibition instead explores her portraits, landscapes, and collaborative pieces that compose the bulk of her Taos catalog. Some of these works demonstrate Brett’s experimentation with multimedia applications in her painting, including sequins, copper wire, and mother of pearl shells. Overlaying her delicate brushstrokes, these additional materials are evidence of Brett’s desire to capture the texture, movement, and gleaming light of her subjects as she perceived them. Two large paintings from 1934 are luminous, abstracted images of corn or shafts of light. Other works present soulful depictions of the mountains, lively hunting scenes, or tranquil visions through stands of pastel trees.

This exhibition seeks to present an authentic portrait of Dorothy Brett, not simply as the naive and adoring follower of D. H. Lawrence, but as an artist whose sensitive treatment in her paintings demonstrated her deep love of her adopted home. Her constant pursuit of beauty and the representation of that beauty blossomed into a decades long career that continues to have lasting effects on the people and images of the area. 

The Brett Book Club

Join us as we journey together through Lawrence and Brett: A Friendship, an autobiographical story that traverses relationship, landscape, and Dorothy Brett’s daily life in Taos. Published in 1933, Lawrence and Brett: A Friendship adds the texture of Brett's own voice to living narratives of community stories. The exhibition-based book club will meet in four sessions of book group discussions facilitated by curator Claire Motsinger and education director Karen Chertok. Centered in community conversation, we invite you to read and discuss Brett’s perspectives and lived experience. Meander through joys and sorrows, touch on longings, musings and the clickety-clack of manuscripts typed in rural Northern New Mexico. Books may be purchased at the Museum store or online.
The Brett Book Club will meet 6 - 7:30pm in Gallery 10 on the following dates:
July 30, 2024 - Part 1
August 27, 2024 - Part 2
September 24, 2024 - Part 3
October 29, 2024 - Part 4 & 5
For more information contact:

Brett’s Birthday Party

Lady Brett, Honorable Dorothy Brett, The Brett Happy Birthday!
Celebrate Brett’s birthday with cake and ice cream!
October 11, 2024, 5 PM – 7 PM
Tickets: Members: Free
Non-Members: $15
Tickets available at the door