Helen Bleumenschein

(1909 – 1989)   

Her father called her “Bill” and encouraged her to hunt and fish, two pursuits she continued throughout her life.

Helen Greene Bluemenschein was born in Brooklyn to Mary and Ernest Bluemenschein in 1909.  Her father was part of the Ashcan School in New York and is famous as one of the founders of the Taos Art Colony shortly after they moved to New Mexico in 1919.

Always independent, Helen showed artistic talent at an early age but refused to be taught by her parents. She is best known as an illustrator and lithographer although she was skilled in various media. She was an amateur archeologist, historian, and naturalist and published several books including one on her life in Taos. In 1929 – 31 she studied art in Paris under the modernist, Andre Lhote. In 1932 she returned to America and enrolled part time in the Art Students League. She joined the Women’s Army Corps during WWII and served in the South Pacific.

Although she traveled extensively, she always returned to Taos, the subject of many of her paintings and prints. Her father called her “Bill” and encouraged her to hunt and fish, two pursuits she continued throughout her life. M. Doudoroff, who knew her personally, said of her, “Helen was a skilled hunter, and in the 1950’s transported the deer, elk and occasional bear she bagged from the mountains into town on top of a splendid vintage Packard hearse, to the amusement of locals and amazement of tourists.”

Before her death, Helen donated the Bluemenschein house to the Kit Carson Museum in Taos. 

© 2016 Los Alamos Museum of Art

P. O. Box 790 Los Alamos, NM 87544