Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Blumenschein grew up in Dayton, Ohio. He studied at Cincinnati Academy of Fine Arts, then at New York Art Students League. In 1897, Blumenschein went to the Southwest on assignment for McClure’s Magazine. On 3 September 1898, he and artist Bert Phillips decided to establish an art colony in Taos after a broken wagon wheel left them stranded. Blumenschein became one of the founding members of the Taos Society of Artists, established in 1915 and settled there in 1919 permanently. Blumenschein was elected to the National Academy of Design in 1927, which was the highest honor that an American artist could receive at the time. During the 1950’s, poor health sent him south to Alburquerque, New Mexico, where he painted cityscapes and Santa Fe Railway yards until his death in 1960.
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