Original J.R. Willis Photograph of Nampeyo of Hano, circa 1918 [SOLD]


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Joseph R. Willis, Western Painter and Photographer

The original photograph was taken of Nampeyo at the Pendete Kiva at Hopi in 1918 by J.R. Willis. This print was chosen by author Barbara Kramer as the photograph for the page facing the title page in her book “Nampeyo and Her Pottery.”  This photograph is from the author.  This photograph was printed by Walter Haussamen from the original 1918 negative of photographer/painter J. R. Willis (1876-1960).  

Joseph R. Willis (1876-1960) is best known for his Indian photographs and paintings and southwestern landscapes.  Before moving to the Southwest, he had earlier traveled throughout the Southeastern part of the United States where he took advantage of the beauty of the region to paint many portraits and landscapes.

In 1917, he settled in Gallup, New Mexico, where he established a photography studio.  Then in 1931, he moved to Albuquerque where he settled for the remainder of his life. After leaving Gallup, Willis spent more time painting than photographing.  His style was realism, not unexpected since his eye was trained for photography. His paintings are not photo realistic, but are softer in presentation. Even near the end of his life, when he was faced with failing eyesight, he continued to paint in an unblemished manner.  His photography career was short, from 1917 to 1931.  

Condition: excellent original condition

Provenance: this Original J.R. Willis Photograph of Nampeyo of Hano, circa 1918 is from the collection of Barbara Kramer, author of “Nampeyo and her Pottery” who purchased it for use in the book.

Recommended Reading: Masters of Western Art by Mary Carroll Nelson

Relative Links: Joseph R. Willis, Western Paintings, PhotographyNampeyo of Hano

Joseph R. Willis, Western Painter and Photographer
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