San Ildefonso Pueblo Male and Female Cloud Dancers by Gilbert Atencio [SOLD]


+ Add to my watchlist Forward to Friend

Gilbert Atencio, Wah Peen, San Ildefonso Pueblo Painter

This San Ildefonso Pueblo painting by Gilbert Atencio of a Male and Female Cloud Dancer with a Drummer is an amazing painting with the most intricate details in the dancer's clothing. The colors are strong and the stroke is delicate. It is also amazing to know that the artist was only 17 years old at the time it was painted. The execution would make one think the artist was well along in a successful career, not a high school student. By the time he was twenty, he had exhibited at the Santa Fe Museum, the Gallup Inter-tribal Indian Ceremonial, various Albuquerque venues, and at the Philbrook Art Center in Oklahoma. He had been awarded six first prizes, six second prizes and five third prizes by the age of 19.

Artist Signature - Gilbert Atencio (1930-1995) Wah PeenGilbert Atencio (1930-1995) Wah Peen attended the Santa Fe Indian School, graduating in 1947.  He has been recognized as one of the finest Native American painters of the twentieth century. He painted mostly in his spare time after a full day of work as a medical illustrator at Los Alamos National Labs, near the pueblo reservation. He worked a full career and retired around 1990. He passed away in 1995.

Wah Peen came from a family with a very talented lineage for art. His family included four siblings, one of whom was Helen Gutierrez, a well-known potter. His parents were Isabel Montoya (1899-1996) and Benjamin Atencio (? -1963). His grandmother and Maria Martinez's mother were sisters. Not content to solely be a painter, Atencio taught himself to be a potter and was a very good one too.

Atencio's talent was recognized early in life and he was collected by noted Santa Fe art enthusiasts, among whom was Eliabeth DeHuff, wife of the Superintendent of the Santa Fe Indian School in the 1930s. She supported many young pueblo artists in their endeavors to make art a career. She chose this painting for her collection.


Condition: this San Ildefonso Pueblo Male and Female Cloud Dancers by Gilbert Atencio is in original condition


-        Personal collection of Elizabeth DeHuff

-        Charlotte G. Mittler collection

Recommended Reading: Through Their Eyes—Indian Painting in Santa Fe, 1918-1945 by Michelle McGeough, Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, 2009

Relative Links: Gilbert AtencioHelen GutierrezIsabel MontoyaNATIVE AMERICAN PAINTINGS

Close up view of the dancers.