Although Taos has been populated since 1300 AD by Native Americans (Pueblos), its fame as an artist haven truly came to the fore in the 1900s. Two women--Millicent Rogers and Mabel Dodge--began encouraging their creative friends, including photographer Ansel Adams, writer DH Lawrence, and painter Georgia O’Keeffe to come explore Taos and the desert Southwest.
O’Keeffe and others who were part of the New York American Modernist movement relocated to the area, as did other artists from San Francisco, and together these groups eventually came to be known as the Taos Moderns. Much of their work can be seen at the Harwood Museum of Art.
Not only are the works of the Taos Moderns featured at the Harwood (HarwoodMuseum.org), but the museum also showcases drawings, prints, painting, sculpture, and photography by contemporary artists such as Ken Price, Agnes Martin, Larry Bell, and Earl Stroh, as well as the largest collection of wood sculptures by Patrocino Barela.
In addition to the Harwood Museum of Art, visitors to Taos can find more art at the Millicent Rogers Museum (known for its collection of rare historic micaceous pottery) and the Taos Art Museum and Fechin House (named for Russian artist Nicolai Fechin and containing works by founders of the Taos Society of Artists, including Ernest L. Blumenschein, Joseph Sharp, and W. Herbert Dunton).
Taos is home to more than 80 galleries, two major arts festivals in spring and fall, film festivals (due to its legacy as home of "Easy Rider"), a storyteller festival, and several music festivals. It’s a city whose walls are covered with murals, some dating to the WPA era. Not only is Taos a historic city, it’s one whose life’s blood is infused with art and creativity.