Eanger Irving Couse

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Eanger Irving Couse (American, 1866-1936) was probably the most famous painters of the Taos Society of Artists. He is very well known for his figurative and serious scenes featuring the Indians of the Taos Pueblo. Many of his painting often showed the Indians in a crouching position and near firelight. He studied for a short time at the Chicago Art Institute and soon enrolled in the National Academy of Design in New York City. He won awards each year for the three years he attended. After successful student exhibitions there, he furthered his studies at the Academie Julien in Paris. He studied under Adolphe Bouguereau and Robert Fleury, and he again won awards in every student exhibition he entered. He continued to paint and make a successful living in France, selling his paintings of the French countryside and doing portraits, while maintaining a studio in New York City.

In 1897, his family moved to a ranch in Oregon, where Couse set up a studio and began painting the Klikitat Indians of the area. Within four years he moved to New York City where he started to do many Native American themed pieces which turned out to be quite a popular subject for the New York buyers. From 1902-1926, he made frequent trips to Taos to visit friends and to paint the Taos Pueblo Indians. He spent every summer there and it soon became his permanent home in 1927. He used the same two Indians for a majority of his pieces, Ben Lujan and Geronimo Gomez, and through some of his works you can see the two slowly age over the time he painted them. Couse also did several pieces for the Santa Fe Railroad. After a very successful life as a painter, Couse died in 1936. His legacy in Western Art was very significant and his works live on in many museums and collections nationwide.