Our Taos Blue Door

On my first visit to Taos Pueblo in 1967, blue doors and window frames reflected color brilliantly against adobe walls.  Still do.  Never outlandish in my opinion, the blue gave an even more mysterious quality to the north and south pueblo complexes.  I read that the Taos blue or Taos green, as it might also be designated, prevented evil and witchcraft from entering the dwelling.  The color surrounded the window or door frame with a protective halo.  It was also a beautiful color by itself, the security notwithstanding.

Blue Front Door, Flying Hat Ranch

When we decided to paint our gray doors, we looked up photographs in our books of the Taos blue and green, settling on the color you see in these photographs.  Brenda painted all three of our doors.  We got the paint from Sherwin Williams in Weatherford, Texas.  She took in a swatch that she had compared with photos in Christine Mather and Sharon Woods, Santa Fe Style, p. 25, lower right-hand photograph.  Sherwin Williams designated the color, Turquish, No. 6939.  She bought a gallon, using a third of the gallon to paint the doors twice.  I am trying to get her to paint the tack room door of the barn.  Course, there are no evil spirits down there.  Not with the horses chasing away bad dreams.

Close up of Taos Blue front door of Flying Hat Ranch house

______________________________

Notes:

Christine Mather and Sharon Woods, Santa Fe Style, New York: Rizzoli, 1986.

Red Door at Taos, Courtesy Gary Thompson, Photographer

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21 Comments

Filed under Flying Hat Ranch, Santa Fe, Taos, Taos Blue Doors

21 responses to “Our Taos Blue Door

  1. I love that color, especially set against the brick. Beautiful. I have the same book, Santa Fe Style, one of my purchases on an early trip to Santa Fe, before moving there. I’ve also photographed many of the doors at Taos Pueblo, for their distinctive coloring. I have a couple of them in smaller frames. And, I absolutely love your closing line.

    • Teresa, lines like those you have written and that closing line in the above post come from somewhere, but I’ll be darned if I know where. I know I write it, but it just plops down or pops up and there it is. So, you have photographs of the Taos Pueblo doors? I know exactly what you mean to frame them and present them. What a color and culture.

      • I took those photos at least fifteen years ago. I don’t know what their policy is now, but at that time you could purchase a camera permit for an extra fee. Yes, lines seem to come out of the blue and there they are on the page. Sometimes, I look back, read and think, ‘ I wrote that?’ Whatever it is, I sure do love it.

  2. That Taos Blue is stunning. The Greek have blue/ turqouise doors too – and window frames. I don’t know if this also has something to do with chasing away evil spirits. But the colours are strong in a sunny climate. We also use much blue in the Scandinavian house , but in a climate with Nordic light the blue is cooler – or looks cooler. I don’t know how to explain this!!!
    I like that Santa Fe style. That big house with the Taos Blue doors and frames is beautiful in the sun. And the jewelry they make are often silver with turquoise-stones ?
    cheers
    Grethe ´)

    • Brenda tells me that the color she chose and the blues close to it are often referred to as Scandinavian Blue or Colonial Williamsburg Blue. Yes, the jewelry is often silver and turquoise, a stunning pair. I’ve seen your photographs on your blog of houses and places and the colors are so vibrant in your climate. Pure and brilliant.

  3. Hi Jack
    How interesting to read about Taos Pueblo and the thoughts behind de amazing colours on doors and windows. I like the way it gives the building colour but also character to the buildings. I love bright colours and have been thinking if we ever change our entrance door colour. It would be nice to paint it with a bright colour too. I like blue, green, purple or even some red colours but I think it would be too much for my husband.
    I love the colour you have chosen for your doors. Way to go….enjoy

  4. I had wanted to try this color for 5 years and finally decided to try it…I thought if we don’t like it we can repaint! HA!

    Turned out better than I thought it would, Brenda

  5. Kittie Howard

    Beautiful, beautiful! Not only a perfect match with your photo but the blue swims well with your house’s brick. I first encountered this evil-eye blue when we lived in Cairo. The blue’s a bit darker there but in the same family with the same intent. Later saw this blue all over the Mideast, including Israel. I can’t say the blue protects against the evil eye or not but I can say that I have an evil eye bracelet I wear upon occasion, mostly to wear a bracelet, but deep down I feel a bit protected. Nice how that is.

    • I am so excited that you think it beautiful. With all your traveling about Europe and the Mideast, you have seen a range of colors. Cairo. I remember your post on that. I think that was the one where you had to go to the rooftop? But the one post of yours I remember is when they stopped at the Israeli factory to consider your lament — and were deadly serious about it, too. That was one fine post!

  6. You have some great pictures there. I like to tavel in Europe and take pictures of doors, especially the blue doors in Greece. Going tthere next month so will add to my collection!

  7. Jack, have I forgotten to confirm?

  8. I recently painted by door blue, I like the symbolism of the color, but for me I just like the color.
    On my trips I have photographed many doors, each one is unique. The one photo from Taos Pueblo , on my post listed as “American Flag”, hand prints are painted on the door. To the Native American Indians, the Hand, represents the presence of man, his work, his achievements, and his legacy. It also represents the direction of the creative spirit through a man, as a vessel for the Creators power.
    So for some a door is a door, but to others it is much more.

  9. Hi, greetings from the rain forest! I have been introduced to you by Kittie Howard. I like your blog, so I have tagged you in my latest post.

  10. Hi back at ya! I went over to see the rain forest on your site. Quite different and beautiful. Thank you for tagging me.

  11. ruth mcgill

    Jack,

    I was doing a little research on Taos Blue and found your blog site. Ive really enjoyed reading all the comments. The door painted blue is beautiful. I’m from Amarillo,Texas, now in Kentucky and retired. I’m free to move anywhere I want and I’ve always loved New Mexico. Went out there some when I was a kid. I wonder why the Spaniards picked the Taos blue to ward off evil spirits.? Does anyone know why? God bless all of you.

    Ruth McGill

    • Hi, Ruth. I taught history and anthropology at Amarillo College from 1966 to 1990. Did you happen to go there? Congrats on your retirement. I’m fast getting there. I’m glad you found the site about the Taos Blue door. I’m not for sure about the selection of blue, but blue trade beads were always cherished along with their visions of a Blue Madonna in the religious culture. Why blue? Not for sure, but now I am curious.

      My e-mail is matthewsranch@msn.com if you want to e-mail me.

  12. L Fine

    Had been to Taos and Santa Fe, loved the blue doors. Saw your article and picture. Went to Sherwinn-Williams and bought the paint…just love my door. Thanks for the picture and article. AZFINE

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