The Couse-Sharp Historic Site

Eanger Irving Couse, b 1866- d 1936, Joseph Henry Sharp, b 1859- d 1953
146 Kit Carson Rd, Taos, NM 87571 - view on Google Maps
575-751-0369
“I would rather eat boiled dog in Taos than roast lamb and asparagus in Pasadena.”
—Joseph Henry Sharp
The traditional adobe home, the earliest parts of which date back to the 1830s, was the home and studio of first, Joseph Henry Sharp, then of Eanger Irving Couse. The two were leading painters of the Taos Society of Artists. The architecture, furnishings, gardens and views here provide unparalleled insight into the artistic life of the Taos art colony.

ABOUT

The Couse-Sharp Historic Site covers 2.3 acres just east of Taos Plaza, situated on a ridge overlooking Taos Valley to the south. The buildings represent all styles of New Mexico architecture from Spanish Colonial of the 1830s to Pueblo Revival of the 1930s. It includes the furnished home and studio of E.I. Couse and two studio buildings of his neighbor and colleague, Joseph H. Sharp. It also contains the historic garden created by Couse's wife, Virginia, and the mechanical workshop and laboratory of their inventor son, Kibbey. The Couse house, with its original architecture, furnishings and collections, is the most complete extant example of life in the early Taos art colony. The Couses collected historic Native American pottery, costumes and artifacts, and 18th-19th century Northern New Mexican religious art, known as santos. It tells the story not only of the artist, but of his family.


The earliest building on the site is the Luna Family Chapel dating from c. 1830, which was purchased by Sharp in 1909 to use as a studio. The building now serves as an exhibit space and lecture hall. Sharp's second studio, built in 1915, currently houses an artist in residence. Vintage photographs are a reminder of what these spaces were like when occupied by Sharp and the views so important in many of his landscapes are still recognizable. Both artists consistently engaged Native American from the Taos Pueblo as models.

The Sharp and Couse families were very close, so that Sharp, who had no children, ultimately sold his property to the Couses, although he and his wife Louise continued to occupy their property until shortly before his death. The Couse property remained in the Couse family until recently.

Did you know...?

Couse was called “Green Mountain” by his Pueblo Indian friends, partly as an honor relating him to their sacred Taos Mountain, but in addition, recognizing his rotund body in its ubiquitous green sweater.

SPECIAL RESOURCES

  • Contextual history of the Taos Society of Artists as reflected in the most original setting extant, including the home, furnishings, collections, archives, and creative spaces of Couse and his family.

  • Original artworks by Sharp and Couse.

  • Archival material relating to Sharp and Couse.

  • Photo archive, containing 10,000 prints and negatives, including 8,000 photo studies taken by Couse of his models.

  • Research library.

  • Collection of 18th and 19th Northern New Mexican religious art and furniture.

  • Collection of Native American pottery, costumes, and artifacts

WHAT TO DO HERE

  • House and studio tours (by appointment).
  • A garden where artists are welcome to paint.
  • Exhibits related to Couse, Sharp, and the Taos Society of Artists.
  • Lectures and book signings.

YOU CAN ALSO SEE THE ART HERE:

  • The National Museum of American Art, Washington DC
  • BNSF headquarters, Ft. Worth, TX
  • The Rockwell Museum, Corning, NY
  • New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, NM
  • The Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque, NM
  • Eiteljorg Musem of American Art, Indianapolis, IN
  • Anschutz Collection, Denver, CO
  • The Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, OK
  • The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH
  • The Stark Museum of Art, Orange, TX
  • The Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH
  • Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
  • The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
  • The New Mexico Museum, of Art, Santa Fe, NM
  • Eiteljorg Musem of American Art, Indianapolis, IN