Eanger Irving Couse

Eanger Irving Couse was an American artist who specialized in Native American paintings and the southern American West. Born in Saginaw, Michigan in 1866, Couse began drawing the Chippewa people at a young age. At 16, he dropped out of traditional school and attended the Art Institute of Chicago briefly. He then attended the National Academy of Design in New York City for two years before travelling to Paris in 1886. At the Académie Julian, Couse studied under Willliam-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) where he gained much success and many awards. His stay in Paris resulted in meeting his wife, Virgina Walker, a Washington State resident who will play an integral part in encouraging him to return home to create the Native American paintings that he desired.

For the next few years, Eanger Couse and his family split their time between his New York studio and summers in France, Washington State and Connecticut, painting Southern American scenes, French peasants and fisherman. In 1898, he established a winter studio in New York and in 1902, he learned of Taos, a northern New Mexico town, home to many Native Americans. He traveled there immediately to paint the Native people and landscapes and became a lifelong Taos painter. He visited there during the summer until his death in 1936, but not before establishing the Taos Society of Artists in 1915 and becoming the first president of the society.