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Original Painting Titled “The Fatal Arrow”

C4148i-paint.jpg

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Joseph Noonan (1906-1982) Waáno-Gano
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Cherokee Nation
  • Medium: Casein on paper
  • Size: 15-¼” x 13-¾” Image; not framed
  • Item # C4148i
  • Price: $595.00

Joseph Theodore "Waáno-Gano" ("Joe") Noonan was an artist born on March 3, 1906 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He self-identified as being of Cherokee descent. The name Waáno-Gano comes from waáno meaning "bow" and gano meaning "arrow" in the Iroquois language, Seneca dialect.

During his career he specialized in Native American scenes and California landscapes, winning numerous awards for his colorful oil paintings. A highly acclaimed artist, his work is in the collections of the Sherman Indian Museum, Western Airlines Offices as well in many public buildings in Los Angeles.  He exhibited throughout the 1930s and 1940s at the California Art Club, San Fernando Valley Art Club, Los Angeles Museum of Art, Los Angeles City Hall, and in Chicago. He also lectured on Indian life, designed Indian motifs for textiles, and painted murals in Rapid City, South Dakota, and San Francisco, California.

In 1961, he was in a car accident after which his painting style changed. He continued to paint Native American images, celebrating the myths and legends of his Cherokee ancestors.

This 1968 image of an Iroquois warrior recounts the story of the conflict between the Cherokee and their northern neighbors—the Iroquois. On the back of the painting there is a type written account of the legend:

“The Fatal Arrow”

Over a century before the Civil War, the Iroquois of the north and the Cherokee of the south, were engaged in nearly continuous conflict. Singly, in twos and three or more, the Iroquois and Cherokee would travel the long war trail between their nations to stalk, ambush, kill or capture an antagonist.

This painting depicts an incident in which an invading Iroquois warrior has been caught off guard, his weapons un-used, ambushed, he has been felled with a single arrow from the bow of an unseen Cherokee.

Joseph "Waáno-Gano" Noonan (1906-1982) signatureWaáno-Gano’s talent is apparent in this image of a stricken warrior. The artist rendered the man by using a darker line to delineate the contours of the fallen Iroquois. His loincloth and quiver are painted in bright yellow creating a contrast between light and dark. He has communicated in paint the anguish of  defeat. The painting is signed by the artist. On the reverse of the shrink wrapped painting is a biography of the artist, a copy of the story of the painting, an additional signature with date and a photograph of the artist. The painting is currently not framed.


Condition: this Original Painting Titled "The Fatal Arrow" is in excellent condition.

Provenance: The painting comes from the estate of an extensive collection of Native American art  in New York.

Recommended Reading: American Indian Painters: A Biographical Directory by Jeanne O.Snodgrass