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An Antelope Watching an Antelope Hunter on Horseback

C3982C-paint.jpg

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Velino Shije Herrera (1902-1973) Ma Pe Wi (Oriole)
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Zia Pueblo
  • Medium: opaque watercolor
  • Size:
    8-7/8” x 11-3/4” image;
    18-1/2” x 19-1/2” framed
  • Item # C3982C
  • Price: $2,000.00

Close up view of the male antelope.Crescencio Martinez of San Ildefonso was the earliest of the pueblo easel artists.  He passed away in 1918, long before pueblo easel art was recognized as existing.  He was followed by four pueblo young men who essentially constitute the first artists to produce paintings to be sold.  The four were Crescencio’s nephew, Awa Tsireh, Hopi artists Fred Kabotie and Otis Polelonema, and Zia Pueblo artist Velino Herrera, Ma Pe Wi.  They became very productive in 1918, feeding off each other’s enthusiasm.

Dr. Edgar Lee Hewitt, Director of the Museum of New Mexico, arranged for the four young men to work at the museum in 1920.  Famous New Mexicans Alice Corbin Henderson, Mary Austin, and Mabel Dodge Luhan were instrumental in finding outlets for the works of these artists.  They purchased their paintings and found others to purchase them as well.

In 1919, Elizabeth DeHuff, wife of the newly-appointed Superintendent of the Santa Fe Indian School, arranged an exhibit of the art of the Indian School students.  DeHuff had canvassed the classes to find students who excelled in paintings and drawings.  She stated “Two boys showed early marks of genius: a Zia Pueblo boy, Velino Shije (later Herrera), in a primary grade whom the teacher complained drew animals and faces upon all the papers she gave to him for school work; and a Hopiboy, Fred Kabotie, who would forget what he was doing when he had sawed half through a board in the carpenter’s shop and intently draw figures on its surface…  One could not learn, the other would never be a carpenter, so they might just as well be occupied elsewhere.”  Brody 1997

Artist Signature - Velino Shije Herrera (1902-1973) Ma Pe Wi (Oriole)At the age of 20 years, Herrera’s painting technique had improved tremendously and his works showed great confidence and control.  He was applying colors in complementary tones and could exhibit perspective in his works.  Ethnographic accuracy was important to Herrera and his paintings were strong in that direction.

This painting of an antelope watching an Indian on horseback chasing what may be his own family of three antelope.  The hunter has his bow stretched and ready to release an arrow.  The male antelope is helpless to protect the others.  The artist spent an incredible amount of time on the grasses and yucca in the foreground, painting each blade.  The horse is white and featureless and the Indian is clothed in buckskin and red fabric.  The painting was executed on paper.

This painting was apparently meant to accompany another painting by the artist as the two are similar in style, size and framing. The companion one is our Item #C3982B.


Condition: appears to be in original condition and has just been framed using archival materials and place back in the original frame.

Provenance: this painting of an Antelope Watching an Antelope Hunter on Horseback from the collection of a family from Santa Fe

Reference and Recommended Reading:  Pueblo Indian Painting: Tradition and Modernism in New Mexico, 1900-1930 by J. J. Brody, 1997

This painting of an antelope watching an Indian on horseback chasing what may be his own family of three antelope.  The hunter has his bow stretched and ready to release an arrow.

Velino Shije Herrera (1902-1973) Ma Pe Wi (Oriole)
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Zia Pueblo
  • Medium: opaque watercolor
  • Size:
    8-7/8” x 11-3/4” image;
    18-1/2” x 19-1/2” framed
  • Item # C3982C
  • Price: $2,000.00

C3982C-paint.jpgC3982C-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.