San Ildefonso Pueblo Single Figure Dog Dancer

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Richard Martinez, Opa Mu Nu, Native American Painter

Richard Martinez was not one of the San Ildefonso Pueblo youngsters who attended the San Ildefonso Day School during 1900-1907 when the teacher at that time, Esther Hoyt, provided her students with paper and paints and encouraged them to paint subjects with which they were familiar such as ceremonial dancers in the plaza.  Her classes were for students from age 5 to age 12.  Martinez had been born in 1904 so was too young to reap the benefits of the teacher’s generosity to her students even though it was against U. S. Government policy to encourage such acts.

Artist Signature - Richard Martinez (1904-1987) Opa Mu Nu

Still, he is one of the earlier painters from San Ildefonso, painting as early as 1920.  He was well established as an artist before The Studio at the Santa Fe Indian School was begun in 1932 under the tutelage of Dorothy Dunn.  He was one of the original students at Santa Fe Indian School and was commissioned to paint a mural in the student dining room in 1936.  The mural was destroyed a few years ago when the All Pueblo Council demolished all the old buildings at the Indian School.  None of the murals in any of the buildings were saved. 

 

Condition: appears to be in original condition

Provenance: from the collection of a person from California who inherited her mom’s extensive Native American art collection

Recommended ReadingAmerican Indian Painting of the Southwest and Plains Areas by Dorothy Dunn

Relative Links: Richard MartinezSan Ildefonso PuebloNative American Paintings

Close up view of this painting.