Pop Chalee Exhibition

Millicent Rogers Museum, Town of Taos
Sunday, September 12, 2021 - Thursday, March 31, 2022

The Millicent Rogers Museum will host, Pop Chalee: Yippee Ki Yay, an exhibition to commemorate the induction of Pop Chalee (1906-1993), a Taos Pueblo artist into the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Ft. Worth, Texas. Curated by Kathleen Cornbringer Michaels with Chalee's grandson Jack Hopkins, the exhibition will be on view through March 2022. Upcoming programs include a talk by Hopkins and a performance by a Taos Pueblo hoop dancer with a singer. Tours can be arranged by calling the Museum at 575-758-2462.

Pop Chalee: Yippee Ki Yay focuses on the artist's leadership as a pioneering woman of the southwest. The exhibition tells the story of her career through a selection of paintings from both the MRM and personal collections, archival photographs, news articles, and some of ther finest clothing on loan from Hopkins. 

Pop Chalee is known for her glimmering paintings of forest scenes that are said to have inspired animation by Walt Disney studios. Although she did not appear in the movie, she was selected by MGM to promote the 1950 movie Annie Get Your Gun  and traveled from New Mexico to more than 20 American states. According to Hopkins, “On horseback, Grandmother was the best rider. She could outride most men."

Pop Chalee, also known as Merina Lujan, was born in Castle Gate, Utah, the third child of Joseph Cruz Lujan of Taos Pueblo and Merea Margherete Luenberger (Myrtle Lujan).  When she was four, she moved with her father  back to Taos Pueblo where she was given her Tiwa name, which means "blue flower." She attended the Santa Fe Indian School, and after moving back to Utah and marrying, she began a career of lecturing and performing to raise awareness of Native American cultures. She returned to the Indian School and studied painting with Dorthy Dunn, and her painting career accelerated. Her murals have a lasting legacy--they can be seen in Albuquerque inside the Sunport Airport and at the store front of 510 Central Avenue SW, the former location of Maisel's Trading Post.

For more information, visit the Millicent Rogers Museum website.