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Strong Women of the West

Author: Kristine Keheley

"I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life - and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do." -Georgia O'Keeffe

Taos is set in a remote landscape that immediately resonates. It’s a place of romantic extremes. The bright clear light of high elevation, a vast inspiring horizon, and the paradox of an intimate relationship with the night sky combine to open the mind and heart to new experience.

This wildly beautiful place has been home to many peoples over the last thousand years.

Taos Valley is the longest continuously inhabited region in North America. I always pause when I remember that and think of all of the fascinating human lives and stories that saturate this landscape. It’s our community and history that deepens the soul of Taos.

Taos Pueblo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and its Red Willow people have lived here since around 1000 AD. The Pueblo's history and its continued traditions reflect a deep understanding of sustainability and the rhythms of the earth.

In 1540, Spanish Conquistadors made their way up the Rio Grande and settled, forming a colony whose descendants still flourish here.

The town’s high elevation of 7,000 feet leads to remarkably clear white light and tempestuous weather. Those effects, plus our isolated location, have encouraged an eccentric and progressive community of modern artists. In 1898, two east coast artists were on a trip to paint the Western landscape when their wagon wheel broke and left them happily stranded in Taos. They formed a respected international arts colony that has been continuously injected with the vitality of great artists in every decade since, including the 20th-Century giants Agnes Martin, Ken Price, Larry Bell, Ron Cooper and Ron Davis. My own career as a painter has been nurtured in Taos. I moved here because of the exquisite color and light.

 

Kristine Keheley - Hebridean Wind 

Over the past 100 years, Taos also became a haven for Strong Women of the West. In 1918 Mabel Dodge, a force of nature from the East Coast, began an extraordinary international salon of the greatest thinkers, writers and artists of the day. Mabel invited Georgia O'Keeffe, Aldous Huxley, Ansel Adams and Carl Jung to Taos.

Millicent Rogers, a true fashion icon and patroness of the arts was also a major influence in the 40’s and 50s. Her collection of Southwest jewelry and crafts forms one of our best museums. When you see photographs of her, she is a remarkably polished and stylish woman. Her smooth complexion and bold lip can be re-created with Vapour’s Gentle Illuminating Primer, Velvet Glow Foundation and either of the most glamourous High Voltage lipsticks in Primal or Legend.

 

Those three women, Mabel, Georgia and Millicent are local heroines. The women in Taos today continue their legacy of brains, beauty, strength and sustainability.

 

 

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