Eanger Irving Couse

(1866-1936)

Irving Couse, born in 1866, worked for three months saving money to attend the Art Institute of Chicago in 1884. He also studied at the National Academy of Design, NYC, and Acadamie Julian, Paris, from 1886-90. Couse received classical training and was predominantly a studio painter. In Paris, he met and married an Oregon woman and stayed for the next 10 years in Normandy, painting pastoral and marine scenes. Upon returning to the U.S., Couse set up a studio in NYC which he kept until 1927 when he became a permanent resident of Taos. Couse produced over 1,500 paintings of Native American peoples, whom he portrayed as tranquil, unthreatening and beautiful. Often times the subjects are engaged in domestic activity and are it by the moon or fire to accentuate muscle definition. Couse sketched such scenes outdoors but completed the canvas in his studio. From 1922-34, Couse's paintings were used on calendars and prints for the Santa Fe Railway. Couse was a member of the Taos Society of Artists. He died in 1936.