Catharine Critcher was born into a wealthy Westmoreland County, Virginia family. She studied art at the Copper Union School in New York and the Corcoran School of Art in Washington D.C before leaving for Paris to study at the Academie Julian. After the Academie, Critcher founded an art school of her own, the Cours Critcher Painting School, in Paris before returning to the United States and teaching at the Corcoran School. After six years at the Corcoran, Critcher again founded her own art school, this time called The Critcher School of Painting and Applied Arts. In 1920, Critcher made her first trip to Taos, New Mexico, with which she became almost immediately infatuated. “Taos is unlike any place God ever made, I believe, and therein is its charm and no place could be more conducive to work; there are models galore and no phones, the artists all live in these attractive funny little adobe houses away from the world, food, foes and friends.” She became the first and only woman to be inducted into the Taos Society of Artists and was unanimously approved by the group.