A Close Relationship with Taos Pueblo

Since its founding in 1956, the Millicent Rogers Museum has maintained a close relationship with Taos Pueblo, which I discussed in more detail in a previous post. Millicent Rogers' youngest son, Paul Peralta-Ramos, founded the museum in memory of his mother and established several practices in our bylaws that further honored his late mother's affection for the people, customs, and artistic traditions of Taos Pueblo.

Albert Lujan Taos Pueblo
Taos Pueblo by Albert Lujan, 1945
Gift of Brad and Fran Taylor

First, the museum must always reserve an honorary position on the board of trustees for the current governor of the Pueblo. Second, the museum will be closed to the public on September 30th each year in honor of San Geronimo Feast Day, a celebration of the Pueblo's patron saint, so that the museum's staff, volunteers, and visitors can attend the festivities. In addition, the museum has hosted the Taos Pueblo Artists Winter Showcase for the past five years. At this event, select artists are invited to participate in a weekend-long show at the museum during the Pueblo's ceremonial closure for religious observances. The lack of tourism at the Pueblo during the closure affects the artists' main sources of income, and so the museum hosts this event at no cost or booth fee to the invited artists as part of our ongoing partnership and commitment to supporting Taos Pueblo. For the past several years, Taos Mountain Casino has also generously sponsored the event.

Solitude - Debbie Lujan
Solitude by Debbie Lujan, 2016
featured work from our 2016 Taos Pueblo Artists Winter Showcase

The permanent collection of the Millicent Rogers Museum includes many works by Taos Pueblo artists and several artists are also represented in the museum's store.

Albert Looking Elk Martinez
Three Horses by Albert Looking Elk Martinez, c. 1945
Gift of Brad and Fran Taylor

Taos Pueblo Pottery
Taos Pueblo pottery by Dawn Antelope, Juanita DuBray, Sharon Reyna, R. Espinoza, and Virginia Romero

John Suazo MRM Courtyard
Navajo Shepherdess by John Suazo, 1985

John Suazo MRM Store
John Suazo sculptures in the museum store

In 2012, the first year that the museum hosted the Taos Pueblo Artists Winter Showcase, a weekend-long fundraising gala was held at the museum that incorporated many of the artists mentioned above. A short video about the event can be found here. At this event, the late Tony Reyna posed for a live portrait with artist Sherrie McGraw and Ira Lujan presented a glass blowing demonstration in the museum's courtyard.

Tony Reyna with Portrait
Tony Reyna posing with his unfinished portrait by Sherrie McGraw

Ira Lujan Demo
Ira Lujan presenting glass glowing techniques

Tony Reyna (1916-2016) was a revered Taos Pueblo elder, two-term governor of the Pueblo, veteran, survivor of the Bataan death march, and former Millicent Rogers Museum trustee. He was a long-time supporter of the museum and would often attend our annual Taos Pueblo Artists Winter Showcase.

Sherrie McGraw and Tony Reyna
Sherrie McGraw painting a portrait of Tony Reyna at the Millicent Rogers Museum in 2012

Tony Reyna Portrait
Tony Reyna, An American Hero by Sherrie McGraw, 2012
featured auction item for this year's Turquoise Gala
donated by a private collector

The portrait of Tony Reyna that was completed at the museum in 2012 was donated back to the museum by the collector for this year's Turquoise Gala fundraising auction.

Deer Jar
Deer Jar by Ira Lujan, 2017
featured live auction item in this year's Turquoise Gala
donated by the artist

Ira Lujan, who participates in our Taos Pueblo Artists Winter Showcase each year, has donated work to our fundraising gala in years past, and is represented in the museum store, recently submitted the sculpted glass piece shown above for this year's event. It will be a featured item in our live auction . Our silent auction will also have works by Debbie Lujan, whose work is shown at the top of this blog post and below, and celebrity designer Patricia Michaels.

Debbie Lujan
Winter Solstice by Debbie Lujan, 2017
featured silent auction item for this year's Turquoise Gala
donated by the artist

Patricia Michaels 2017
Patricia Michaels presenting on her fashion designs at our Taos Pueblo Artists Winter Showcase earlier this year

Another work that will be included in our Turquoise Gala live auction that is significant to the museum's connection to Taos Pueblo is this painting by Albert Lujan. The scene depicts the dance plaza at the Pueblo on the Feast Day for San Geronimo. Lujan, along with Albert Looking Elk Martinez and Juan Mirabal, was part of the "Three Taos Pueblo Painters," three artists who learned how to paint in the western (European) style using oils. The Millicent Rogers Museum's permanent collection houses dozens of works by these talented artists and this painting would make a wonderful addition to museum if anyone should wish to bid on it at our gala (hint! hint!). Last year, we were fortunate enough to have a generous donor purchase a painting discussed in a previous blog post, so one can dream! If you are interested in more information about our gala or any of the works featured in this post, please contact me at caroline@millicentrogers.org or at (575)758-2462, ext. 205.

Albert Lujan
San Geronimo Feast Day by Albert Lujan, c. 1945
donated to our Turquoise Gala live auction by Ray Trotter of the RB Ravens Gallery