Jemez Pueblo Painting of Women Grinding Corn by Indian School Student Lawrence Tosa

C4230B-paint.jpg

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Lawrence Tosa, Jemez Pueblo Artist
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Jemez Pueblo - Walatowa
  • Medium: watercolor
  • Size:
    12-1/8" x 19-1/4" image;
    15” x 22” framed
  • Item # C4230B
  • Price: $350.00

This painting by Lawrence Tosa of Jemez Pueblo dates to the late 1950s.  Tosa’s subject here is a group of three women grinding corn. They’re depicted head-on, working away, with baskets nearby holding their materials.  In the foreground, a man plays a drum and sings, providing musical accompaniment for the hard-working women. Everyone is dressed in traditional pueblo attire. The man, seen by the viewer in profile, is actually quite impressive—his face, hair and headband look like they could have been made by a more experienced hand.

Jeanne Snodgrass’ American Indian Painters: A Biographical Directory lists Tosa’s year of birth as 1947, which would mean that he completed this painting when he was just over ten years old. Interestingly, we’ve seen a few paintings from earlier pueblo artists which featured very similar compositions.  Tosa must have been mimicking his predecessors with this piece. His version of this scene is quite endearing.

Artist Signature - Lawrence Tosa, Jemez Pueblo PainterThe painting is signed By Lawrence Tosa in lower right. It is placed under a thin, off-white mat within a metal frame.

Very little information about Lawrence Tosa (1947-2018) is available.  His name is listed in American Indian Painters: A Biographical Directory in conjunction with a 1958-1959 exhibition at the Museum of New Mexico.  That exhibition—their “Contemporary Indian Artists Annual Exhibition”, most likely—was where this painting was originally sold, alongside works by other Indian School students.  The book does note that Tosa received an award from the 1959 MNM exhibit.

NOTE: we were informed that Tosa passed away in 2018.

Condition: this Jemez Pueblo Painting of Women Grinding Corn by Indian School Student Lawrence Tosa is in very good condition, with two very small discolorations near top center

Provenance:  originally purchased in 1958 at the aforementioned exhibition—the Museum of New Mexico’s “Contemporary Indian Artists Annual Exhibition”—by an Albuquerque resident

Reference: Snodgrass, Jeanne O. American Indian Painters: A Biographical Directory, Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, 1968

Relative Links: Native American PaintingsLawrence Tosa, Jemez Pueblo

Lawrence Tosa, Jemez Pueblo Artist
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Jemez Pueblo - Walatowa
  • Medium: watercolor
  • Size:
    12-1/8" x 19-1/4" image;
    15” x 22” framed
  • Item # C4230B
  • Price: $350.00

C4230B-paint.jpgC4230B-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.