Original Painting "Untitled—Buffalo Dance" [SOLD]


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Tonita Vigil Peña, Quah Ah, San Ildefonso Pueblo Painter

This original painting by Tonita Peña (Quah Ah) of San Ildefonso Pueblo was probably painted in the early 1930s. Over her career, Tonita used a variety of signatures on her paintings. (A complete description of the signatures and corresponding dates used may be seen in the biographical information provided by clicking on her name just below the above picture.)

The image depicts a pueblo dance in the traditional style with no ground plane and no background. In her paintings of dancers such as this she was able to make her dancers appear in motion rather than fixed in time.

Tonita Peña's usual treatment is concerned with several dance figures in a line followed by a drummer. Generally, there are women in her paintings, and, as a rule, these women are taking a definite part in the dance as shown in the action of the feet. Quite consistently the feet are lifted higher than the drawings of many other artists. And the feet of the men, too, are more active. This type of action, peculiar to Tonita, is well illustrated here.

This painting was professionally treated and cleaned by a conservator and restorer of art and artifacts on paper. It is therefore acid-free and protected for life. It has been framed using all acid-free materials and museum UV protective glass. This is an extraordinary painting by one of the pueblo's finest female artists from the early 20th century. It is framed and ready to hang.

Item Provenance: This item was presented in the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center's special exhibit "TIMELESS BEAUTY" in Albuquerque, New Mexico, January-August 2008. This exhibition celebrated the achievements and impact made by some of the most renowned Pueblo women artists on the preservation, exposure, and development of the indigenous and contemporary art forms of Pueblo people. Curated by the IPCC in collaboration with Santa Fe-based Adobe Gallery and the School for Advanced Research, "TIMELESS BEAUTY" showcased a collaborative collection of artwork created by these influential women.


Tonita Vigil Peña, Quah Ah, San Ildefonso Pueblo Painter
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