Dorothy Brett in Taos Exhibition

Millicent Rogers Museum

Painting from Within: 100 Years of Dorothy Brett in Taos

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July 12, 2024 – October 20, 2024

The Millicent Rogers Museum presents Painting from Within: 100 Years of Dorothy Brett in Taos, an exhibition dedicated to presenting and honoring the legacy of famed Taos painter Dorothy Brett. This exhibition will open on July 12, 2024 and run through October 30, 2024, featuring works from numerous private collections in Taos, Santa Fe, and Albuquerque alongside pieces from the collection of the Millicent Rogers Museum. These loaned paintings have adorned the homes of their owners and maintain a constant presence of Brett in the lives of those who enjoy them. In many cases, this is the first time these works have been shared with the public in decades.

In the year 1924, the Honorable Dorothy Brett arrived in Taos, New Mexico. This trip to the American Southwest became the adventure that would go on to define her personal life and artistic career. Upon an invitation from novelist D. H. Lawrence, Brett left her life in England behind and found her new home in Taos. In the 100 years since this arrival, her images have become iconic representations of the people and landscape of Taos.

Through consultation with Taos Pueblo, the Millicent Rogers Museum has decided to refrain from displaying any of Brett’s paintings depicting Indigenous ceremony or dance. The exhibition instead explores her portraits, landscapes, and collaborative pieces that compose the bulk of her Taos catalog. Some of these works demonstrate Brett’s experimentation with multimedia applications in her painting, including sequins, copper wire, and mother of pearl shells. Overlaying her delicate brushstrokes, these additional materials are evidence of Brett’s desire to capture the texture, movement, and gleaming light of her subjects as she perceived them. Two large paintings from 1934 are luminous, abstracted images of corn or shafts of light. Other works present soulful depictions of the mountains, lively hunting scenes, or tranquil visions through stands of pastel trees.

This exhibition seeks to present an authentic portrait of Dorothy Brett, not simply as the naive and adoring follower of D. H. Lawrence, but as an artist whose sensitive treatment in her paintings demonstrated her deep love of her adopted home. Her constant pursuit of beauty and the representation of that beauty blossomed into a decades long career that continues to have lasting effects on the people and images of the area.

For more information and to view all the museum exhibits.

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