A new tradition of Pueblo fine art painting appeared in the first
three decades of the 20th century, born out of a dynamic encounter
between the Pueblo and Euro-American communities in and around
Santa Fe, New Mexico. Traditional Pueblo art had been created to
support community values and was integral to the ritual and daily
life of the people, but the painting style that developed after
1900 was novel in every way, involving new subject matter, new
media, and a new audience of Euro-American artists, intellectuals,
and art patrons. The young Pueblo artists who created the new genre
merged their Pueblo traditons with the aesthetic principles of
Euro-American modernism to create an entirely new art form
emblematic of the changing relationship between the two cultures.
In Pueblo Indian Painting, renowned art historian J. J. Brody
presents the first complete history of this vibrant art. Based on
the extensive Pueblo painting collections of the School of American
Research in Santa Fe and richly illustrated in color and black and
white, the book traces the lives and examines the achievements of
seven artists who were key to the evolution of Pueblo painting:
Fred Kabotie and Otis Polelonema of Hopi, Velino Shije Herrera of
Zia, and Crescencio Martinez (Ta'E), Tonita Pena (Quah Ah), Alfonso
Roybal (Awa Tsireh), and Abel Sanchez (Oqwa Pi) of San Ildefonso.
Brody also explores the role played by the patrons who supported
and promoted the Pueblo artists' work, individuals such as Mary
Austin, Alice Corbin Henderson, Edgar Lee Hewett, Oliver. La Farge,
Mabel Dodge Luhan, John Sloan, and Amelia Elizabeth White. Pueblo
Indian Paintings places this important but under-appreciated fine
art traditionsquarely within the contexts of Pueblo culture and
Euro-American modernism, bringing long-overdue recognition to the
tradition and its preeminent practitioners as a vital part of
American art history.
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