Original Painting of Men on Horseback by Indian School Student McCoy Secatero


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McCoy Secatero, Navajo Artist
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Diné - Navajo Nation
  • Medium: watercolor
  • Size:
    16" x 13-1/2" image;
    18-5/8” x 16-1/4” framed
  • Item # C4230A
  • Price: $350.00

This painting by Indian School student McCoy Secatero features a classic Diné scene: men on horseback, traveling across the Navajo reservation.  We don’t know his birth year, but can infer that Secatero was a child or teenager when he completed this piece. It is also quite evident that he was a fan of earlier Diné painters Harrison Begay and Andrew Tsihnahjinnie, as this piece is clearly influenced by their works.  Secatero attempted to replicate the carefully detailed faces seen in their works. He did about as well as one could expect of an adolescent; the man closest to the viewer looks very good, while the other man looks a bit strange. The horses are surprisingly strong. This is a sweet painting—a young artist doing his best to recreate the works of those who came before him.

Artist Signature - McCoy Secatero, Diné ArtistVery little information about McCoy Secatero is available.  His name is listed in Jeanne Snodgrass’ 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.   It can be assumed that Secatero did not pursue a career in the arts.

The painting is signed M.Y. Secatero and dated 1958 in lower right. It is placed under a thin, off-white mat within a metal frame.

Condition: this Original Painting of Men on Horseback by Indian School Student McCoy Secatero is in excellent condition

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 Paintings, Navajo Nation, McCoy SecateroHarrison Begay, Andrew Tsihnahjinnie