Couse, Eanger Irving

Couse, Eanger Irving Biography

Couse portrayed the Pueblo Indians as a serene and noble people, quietly intent upon the tasks of their daily lives. Primarily a studio painter, he carefully arranged his subjects among a sparing number of artifacts. Whether painting a hunting brave or a young maiden, a pleasing and peaceful quality is common to all of his artwork.

Raised among the Chippewa and Ojibwa Indians in Saginaw, Michigan, Couse knew and loved the art of the West and he aspired to become an oil painter at an early age. Earning funds intermittently as a housepainter, he first studied at the Chicago Art Institute and later at the National Academy of Design in New York City. He went to Paris and there he met among his fellew students those artists who were later to live in Taos. Couse established a studio in New York, traveling and painting in the West and earned a commission to illustrate the Santa Fe Railroad calendars. He abandoned his New York studio in 1927 and settled permanently in Taos.

Painting with skill and technical efficiency, Couse continued to work within the limits of academic style all of his life. He represented the Indians with a sincerity which was welcomed among eastern art lovers. Couse used very few models and rarely sketched out of doors.

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