“Taos Pueblo Painters” in New Mexico Magazine, January 2003 by Elmo Baca
Three Taos Pueblo members—Albert Looking Elk Martinez (1888-1940), Albert Lujan (1892-1948) and Juan Mirabal (1903-1970)—were painters whose works were overlooked at the time because they painted in the European-American style rather than the accepted, at the time, Santa Fe Indian School style. They mostly painted small images of Taos Pueblo village scenes and sold their paintings directly to tourists visiting the pueblo.
The painters were influenced by the European-American Taos Founders as they posed as models and watched the artists paint their images. As early as 12 years old, Looking Elk posed for Oscar Berninghaus. Juan Mirabal started his career as a model for Joseph Henry Sharp and later for E. Irving Couse.
There is now a revival in interest in the works of the three artists.