Exhibition Explores Little-Known Works by a Founding Member of the Taos Society of Artists

Klickitat County, Washington Was Where E. Irving Couse Painted
American Indian Subjects in the late-Nineteenth Century

(GOLDENDALE, Wash., May 6, 2013) –Maryhill Museum of Art will open the special exhibition Eanger Irving Couse on the Columbia River on June 8, 2013; it will remain on view through September 2, 2013. Several related programs are planned to complement the exhibition.

A young artist named Eanger Irving Couse enrolled in Paris’ Académie Julian in 1886. The following year, he met Virginia Walker, a native of Oregon who was a student at the nearby Académie Colarossi. After Irving and Virginia married in 1889, they began making plans to visit Virginia’s family home, a remote ranch in Klickitat County, Washington, where Couse could paint uniquely American subjects—American Indians.

The couple’s dream of visiting the Walker Ranch came true in 1891. While the weather was mild, Couse painted local landscapes, livestock scenes and Klikitat, Rock Creek, Pine Creek and Umatilla Indians; during the winter the couple moved downriver to Portland, Oregon, where Couse held his first solo exhibition, taught painting classes and painted portraits of several prominent citizens.

The Couses returned to France in the fall of 1892. In 1896 they traveled back to the Walker Ranch for a two-year residence. Although Couse painted many regional landscapes and pictures of Indians while living in Washington state, these works remain little known. The Couses ultimately became permanent residents of Taos, New Mexico, where Irving was elected in 1915 as the first president of the Taos Society of Artists, a group with which he is now well known.

Eanger Irving Couse on the Columbia River, curated by Maryhill’s curator of Art, Dr. Steven L. Grafe, features 20 paintings and several drawings, photos taken locally by the artist, items he collected from regional Indians, and other archival materials. In addition to works owned by Maryhill Museum of Art, the exhibition includes loans from the Couse family and the Couse Foundation in Taos, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis, the Phoenix Art Museum, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Museum, the Albrecht-Kemper Art Museum in St. Joseph, Missouri, the Oregon Historical Society, and from private collectors.

This exhibition is made possible by the generous support of BNSF Railway Foundation, Puget Sound Energy,  The Brim Family, Kate Mills, Coburn L. Grabenhorst, Jr., Sayler’s Old Country Kitchen, Mary Dodds Schlick, JD Fulwiler & Co. Insurance and the Wheelhouse Family.

EDITORS: High-resolution exhibition and museum images are available for immediate download at:https://www.maryhillmuseum.org/discover/about-maryhill-museum-of-art/press-room/images-for-publication

Saturday, June 8, 2013, 1 to 4 p.m.
Family Fun: Klickitat Basket Fun
Children and families are invited to an afternoon of hands-on art exploration during this free, drop-in program. Learn about Klickitat baskets, then make a paper Klickitat basket and decorate it with traditional Columbia River designs. On Family Fun Days youth 18 and under are admitted to the museum free all day with one paid adult admission.

Eanger Irving Couse Symposium
Explore the influences and work of E. Irving Couse and the artistic circles in which he traveled.
Saturday, June 22, 2013 | 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Symposium Lectures
Dr. Marie Watkins
 (Furman University, Greenville, SC), will speak on the impact of Parisian academic training on the work of Couse and two other Taos artists – Bert Phillips and Joseph Henry Sharp. Dr. Steven L. Grafe (Maryhill Museum of Art) will explore Couse in the Pacific Northwest.  Skip Miller (Taos, NM) will look at several members of the Taos Society of Artists, in particular Ernest L. Blumenschien, who brought a level of social commentary to his modernist paintings of Native American subjects. Elizabeth Cunningham (Taos, NM) will speak to the contributions of modernist visitors to Taos, including members of the Stieglitz Circle – Marsden Hartley, John Marin, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Paul Strand, as well as Rebecca Salsbury Strand James, Andrew Dasburg, Dorothy Brett, D. H. Lawrence and Ansel Adams.
Cost (includes lunch):  $50 members / $55 non-members; to register call 509 773-3733.

Sunday, June 23, 2013 | 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Couse Country Tour
 Follow in the footsteps of Eanger Irving Couse on a guided tour through the landscape he painted between 1891-1904. Leaving Maryhill at 10:00 a.m., busses will travel east on the Lewis and Clark Highway (State Route 14) to Sundale where the Walker family kept a “river ranch” at the mouth of Chapman Creek. We will then continue on to Roosevelt Park and the northern terminus of the Arlington Ferry—which the Walkers took to Arlington, Oregon, when selling produce and picking up supplies and mail. On our return we will take Old Highway 8 across Rock Creek (where Couse recruited models from among the local Indian community) to Goodnoe Hills and back to the museum. Guides with knowledge of local history will be on the busses. Box lunches and samplings of local wine are included in the cost of the bus tour.

Cost for bus and lunch: $50 members / $55 on-members; to register call 509 773-3733.

NEWS RELEASE Media contact:  
Colleen Schafroth, Executive Director
(509) 773-3733, colleen@maryhillmuseum.org