Presenter Information

Marcy Botwick

Program

Museum Studies

College

Arts and Sciences

Student Level

Master's

Location

PAÍS Building

Start Date

10-11-2022 11:00 AM

End Date

10-11-2022 1:00 PM

Abstract

Though born in 1869, Mary Greene Blumenschein faced negotiations and dilemmas as a working artist and married partner that are familiar and still challenging to families today. Mary Shepard Greene Blumenschein, Ernest L. Blumenschein and their daughter Helen Greene Blumenschein are the subjects of the E.L. Blumenschein House and Museum, a small museum in Taos, New Mexico. Ernest is best known for his role as a founding member of the Taos Society of Artists, a regional group of painters whose work toured nationally from 1915 to 1929 and was featured in publicity for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. Mary Greene Blumenschein first achieved success as an oil painter in Paris in 1900 and continued her career as an illustrator based in New York from 1909 to 1919. Mary was an accomplished professional artist: creating was a fundamental part of her identity and an engaged life-long practice. Mary also valued her identity as wife and mother and saw herself in Victorian gendered terms as a taming or civilizing influence within her family. Mary and Ernest's domestic negotiations, how they managed to work as both artists and parents is compelling and relevant to contemporary life, yet this story is not told at the museum. In this poster, I examine how museums historically amplify and reify gendered and raced social constructions rather than accurately reflect their subject's lives. Using material drawn from the Blumenschein family archives, I then suggest methods to create complex, nuanced and dynamic exhibitions that more authentically reflect the lives of Mary, Ernest, and Helen Blumenschein and other extended members of their Taos household.

Share

COinS
 
Nov 10th, 11:00 AM Nov 10th, 1:00 PM

Who was Mary Greene Blumenschein? Representing Marginalized Experience at House Museums

PAÍS Building

Though born in 1869, Mary Greene Blumenschein faced negotiations and dilemmas as a working artist and married partner that are familiar and still challenging to families today. Mary Shepard Greene Blumenschein, Ernest L. Blumenschein and their daughter Helen Greene Blumenschein are the subjects of the E.L. Blumenschein House and Museum, a small museum in Taos, New Mexico. Ernest is best known for his role as a founding member of the Taos Society of Artists, a regional group of painters whose work toured nationally from 1915 to 1929 and was featured in publicity for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. Mary Greene Blumenschein first achieved success as an oil painter in Paris in 1900 and continued her career as an illustrator based in New York from 1909 to 1919. Mary was an accomplished professional artist: creating was a fundamental part of her identity and an engaged life-long practice. Mary also valued her identity as wife and mother and saw herself in Victorian gendered terms as a taming or civilizing influence within her family. Mary and Ernest's domestic negotiations, how they managed to work as both artists and parents is compelling and relevant to contemporary life, yet this story is not told at the museum. In this poster, I examine how museums historically amplify and reify gendered and raced social constructions rather than accurately reflect their subject's lives. Using material drawn from the Blumenschein family archives, I then suggest methods to create complex, nuanced and dynamic exhibitions that more authentically reflect the lives of Mary, Ernest, and Helen Blumenschein and other extended members of their Taos household.