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Original Painting “Acoma Corn Dancer”

C4172-paint.jpg

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Duane Dishta (1946-2011)
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Zuni Pueblo
  • Medium: tempera
  • Size:
    18-1/2" by 13-3/8" image;
    27” x 22-1/4” framed
  • Item # C4172
  • Price: $800.00

Duane Dishta (1946-2011) was a kachina doll carver and painter from New Mexico’s Zuni Pueblo.  Dishta was born in 1946 into an artistically inclined family. His father, Frank Dishta, was a successful and innovative silversmith who developed a unique style that is known today as the “Dishta style.”  Duane’s older half brother Virgil carried on this style, which later carried on down the line to Virgil’s sons Vincent and Virgil Jr. and niece Pauline Dishta. Duane’s mother was Elizabeth Malani, who was half Hopi.  He was married to and had two daughters with Evangelita Edaaki, and ultimately married and remained partnered with Margie Sheeka. Sheeka handled Dishta’s business for much of his career.

Dishta, growing up in a home full of jewelers, learned jewelry making at a young age.  His interest shifted towards painting and kachina doll carving. He did not receive a formal education in the arts. In fact, he dropped out of school altogether during ninth grade. Aside from a brief period during the 1960s during which he worked as a firefighter, Dishta supported himself with his art for all of his adult life. Dishta went on to become a successful, award-winning artist whose works are included in many prominent museums and countless private collections.  He is best remembered for his paintings, but is known by kachina doll collectors as one of the best and most unique creators of Zuni Katsina carvings.

Duane Dishta (1946-2011) signatureThis excellent watercolor painting, titled “Acoma Corn Dancer,” was completed in 1963.  Dishta’s dancer is made of soft, translucent colors. He’s pictured in the position that is typical of Pueblo dance images—with one leg raised slightly, bent at the knee.  He’s seen head-on rather than in profile, allowing the viewer to see the intricacies of his garb. He’s lean and muscular, with arms spread out to his sides like wings. His elbows bend inward, and his hands are clenched into two tight fists.  He leans forward ever so slightly. His body is proportionally accurate, which is not always the case with large single-figure images like this one. The image is dated “‘63” in its lower right corner, alongside Dishta’s signature and the painting’s title.  Dishta was just 17 years old in 1963. This is the work of a self-taught teenager, just a few years into a painting career. That he was able to create such an elegant, well-crafted image is further evidence that Duane Dishta was born with artistic creation in his blood.


Condition: this Original Painting "Acoma Corn Dancer" is in excellent condition

Provenance: from an Albuquerque collection

Recommended Reading: Kachinas of the Zuni by Barton Wright with paintings by Duane Dishta.

Reference: Biographical Information courtesy of Ernie Bulow of Gallup, New Mexico. To see more of this biographical history, click here or on the artist’s name and read more details of his life.

Duane Dishta (1946-2011)
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Zuni Pueblo
  • Medium: tempera
  • Size:
    18-1/2" by 13-3/8" image;
    27” x 22-1/4” framed
  • Item # C4172
  • Price: $800.00

C4172-paint.jpgC4172-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.