Painter. In some 1,500 paintings, he portrayed Native American life as peaceful and idyllic. Although he lived in New York City, he maintained a studio in Taos, N.M., for years before moving there permanently in 1928.
Joan Stahl American Artists in Photographic Portraits from the Peter A. Juley & Son Collection (Washington, D.C. and Mineola, New York: National Museum of American Art and Dover Publications, Inc., 1995)
In 1886, after attending classes at the Art Institute of Chicago and Art Students League in New York, Couse went to Europe, where he remained for nearly ten years. While in Paris he studied with the academic master Adolphe Bouguereau and exhibited frequently at the Salon. He first became interested in western subject matter after visiting his father-in-law’s sheep ranch in Oregon. In 1902 artists Ernest Blumenschein and Joseph Henry Sharp invited him to Taos, New Mexico, where in 1909 he established a studio, dividing his time between the Southwest and New York. Couse concentrated primarily on monumental Indian subjects. When he died in 1936, he was among the best-known of the Taos school artists, having produced more than fifteen hundred oil paintings.
Eldredge, Schimmel, and Truettner, Art in New Mexico, 194–95;
Virginia Couse Leavitt, “Eanger Irving Couse (1866–1936),” in J. Gray Sweeney, ed., Artists of Michigan from the Nineteenth Century (Muskeegon, Mich.: Muskeegon Museum of Art, 1987), 160–67;
Nicholas Woloshuk, E. Irving Couse (Santa Fe, N.M.: Santa Fe Village Art Museum, 1976).
William Truettner, ed The West as America: Reinterpreting Images of the Frontier, 1820–1920 (Washington, D.C. and London: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991)
Eanger Irving Couse’s artistic training was strictly academic. He studied and worked in Paris for ten years and showed his work frequently at the Paris Salons. A trip to his father-in-law’s sheep ranch introduced him to the landscape of the West, and in 1902 he set up a studio in Taos, splitting his time between New Mexico and New York. From 1922 to 1934, Couse’s works appeared in promotional material published by the Santa Fe Railway to lure tourists to the Southwest. He was extraordinarily productive and created more than fifteen hundred oil paintings during his lifetime.