Eanger Irving Couse USA

9-3-1866 Saginaw, USA - 4-26-1936 Albuquerque, USA

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Couse, Eanger Irving

As a boy, Eanger Irving Couse started drawing members of the Chippewa tribe who lived nearby. He attended local schools as a child and continued to work at art.

Couse left Michigan for professional art studies at the Art Institute of Chicago and the National Academy of Design, New York. He went to Paris, where he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts and Académie Julian under William-Adolphe Bouguereau. He lived in France for 10 years, painting mostly landscapes of the Normandy coast.

After his return to the United States, Eanger Irving Couse first lived in New York. He spent time in Taos, New Mexico during the summers. At the turn of the 19th century, the Southwest, and New Mexico in particular, attracted numerous artists and writers because it remained untouched by national expansion efforts dictated by the American policy of Manifest Destiny. The artists and writers of this era wanted to capture the last vestiges of the Old West before it disappeared altogether. During his time in New Mexico, Couse studied and painted the lives and culture of the Taos Indians, a Pueblo tribe. He began to show his paintings of Native American life and earned his first solo show in 1891.

In 1911 Couse was elected to the National Academy of Design. He also became active in the Taos art colony. In 1915, Couse was one of the six founding members of the Taos Society of Artists, and was elected first president.

Elk-Foot of the Taos Tribe, painted in the summer of 1909, is considered Couse's masterwork.

Eanger Irving Couse's The Captive was shown in 1891 at his first solo exhibition, held at the Portland Art Association in Oregon, and then at the Paris Salon of 1892. This large, "salon size" painting was the first Native American subject by Couse, who later achieved fame in the United States for his paintings of the indigenous peoples of New Mexico.

Movement: American Western Art
Influences: Adolphe Bouguereau
Traveled: France
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