Bert Geer Phillips (1868 - 1956)



Bert Geer Phillips, a founding member of the Taos Society of Artists and father of the Taos art colony, settled in Taos, New Mexico in 1898. In his youth, Phillips was fascinated by the frontiersman of the West, though he was born in Hudson, New York in 1868. In his teenage years, he moved to New York City and attended the Art Students League of New York, as well as the National academy of Design. He also lived in Paris, where he studied at the Academie Julian, befriending Ernest Blumenschein - who was an influential friend and peer throughout his career.

In 1898, Phillips and Blumenschein set out to venture towards the American West, with the goal of reaching Mexico. When one of their wagon wheels broke near Taos, the men remained, setting up a studio and beginning to paint. Phillips remained in New Mexico, establishing permanent residence. He continued to paint, deriving inspiration from the people of the Taos Pueblo and the landscape of the Southwest - creating romantic figurative scenes. He worked as a muralist, completing several major commissions and public projects. At the end of his career, Phillips lost his eyesight, but left behind a vision for future artists to create in Taos after his passing in 1956. He was known to have said, "for heaven's sake, tell people what we have found! Send some artists out here. There is a lifetime's work for twenty men."

Parsons: Taos Art in Taos

Schools of Study

Art Students League of New York
National Academy of Design
Academie Julian

Partial List of Collections

Butler Institute of American Art, OH
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, CO
Denver Art Museum, CO
Frederic Remington Art Museum, NY
Gilcrease Museum, OK
Mulvane Art Museum, KS
Museum of New Mexico, NM
Museum of the Southwest, TX
Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, TX
Phoenix Art Museum, AZ
San Diego Museum of Art, CA
The Harwood Museum of Art, NM

Selected Exhibitions

Art Institute of Chicago, 1902-1913
American School of Archaeology, Santa Fe, NM, 1915
Palace of the Governors, Santa Fe, NM, 1915
Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe, NM
Detroit Museum of Art, 1924
Fort Worth Centennial, 1936
Phoenix Art Museum, 1966
Denver Art Museum, 1973

Selected Works in Our Inventory