Saturday, June 3, 2017

6/2 Taos, NM - Two Museums

I found a public parking lot for my motorhome near downtown Taos, unloaded my bike, and away I went.  It hard for me to walk a long distance, so my electric bike is a good way to get around an old town like this one with narrow roads and few parking spots. 

Besides a lot of jewelry, art, and souvenir shops, I found two museums:  the Kit Carson Home and Museum and the Taos Art Museum at Fechin House.  First, I stopped at the Kit Carson home:
Kit Carson was an Indian fighter, mountain man, trapper, hunter, and a famous guide along the Santa Fe Trail.  He was only 5'1" tall, but  

Did you know Christopher "Kit" Carson had three wives and eight children?  His first wive was a young Arapaho girl he fell in love with and who gave him two daughters, but died in childbirth after the second child.  That child died as in an accident as a young child.  He sent his remaining daughter to St. Louis to stay with his sister and be educated.  

His second wife was Cheyenne, but they did not stay together long.  Later he married the daughter of a wealthy Taos family, so they bought a house here and raised eight children together.  The pictures below were taken in his small home with many of the original furnishings.  It is now a museum. 

This wall shows a painting and some belongings of his first wife, Waanibe.  

And this shows his third wife, Josefa and their children. 

The enclosed courtyard of his home. 

This is the Taos Art Museum at Fechin House.  It mostly had paintings, which were OK, but as the docent pointed out, the really interesting thing was the house itself.  It was built by Nicolai Fechin, who was a Russian painter and wood carver.  After emmigrating from Russia in 1920, he developed tuberculosis and moved to Taos because it had a better climate.  

The adobe house had been built by a doctor, but Fechin spent considerable time carving furniture and adding decorative woodwork.  I loved the huge ceiling timbers. 

But the most fascinating thing about the house was the carving done by Fechin.  

These are swinging doors into the living room.

Just an ordinary closet door.  I peeked inside and it was lined with cedar.

This is a bench for sitting in front of the fireplace.  It has hinged sides. 

This is beautiful upstairs sun room and a bed he had carved. 

This was a built-in cedar-lined cupboard also lined with cedar. 

Sideboard and cupboard. 

Anyway, this was a more than typically interesting art museum!

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