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Untitled Lines of Basket Dancers [SOLD]

C3875B-paint.jpg

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Tonita Vigil Peña (1893-1949) Quah Ah
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: San Ildefonso Pueblo
  • Medium: gouache on paper
  • Size:
    14” x 20” image;
    22-5/8” x 28-5/8” framed
  • Item # C3875B
  • SOLD

Tonita Vigil Peña (1893-1949) Quah Ah did not have an easy life.  She lost her mother and sister when she was 12 years old and then her dad sent her from San Ildefonso, her native pueblo, to live with an aunt and uncle at Cochiti Pueblo, so she essentially lost her father at that time as well.  She had to learn new customs, dances, songs and even a new language—Keres was spoken at Cochiti, rather than her native Tewa Language.

 

In 1908—at just 15 years old— Peña married Juan Rosario Chavez, who was 20 years old.  Chavez passed away three years after their marriage.  She married Felipe Herrera in 1913.  He died in a work accident in 1920.  Her third husband, Epitacio Arquero, outlived Tonita by a few years.  They had a loving marriage and produced five children.

 

As Tonita’s children got older, they assumed the responsibility of taking care of each other, allowing Tonita more time to pursue painting and to eventually teach painting classes at the Santa Fe Indian School and the Albuquerque Indian School.

 

Artist Signature - Tonita Vigil Peña (1893-1949) Quah AhThe untitled painting shows male and female Basket Dancers, a dance performed by the Winter People at San Ildefonso around Easter time.  This is a very early painting by Tonita as determined by her signature: Tonita Peña.  She used this baptismal name in 1920 but changed a year later to her Tewa name.  Paintings with her baptismal name are extremely rare.

 

Condition: very good condition for its age.  There is a small stain at her signature.

Provenance: from a gentleman from Denver, Colorado

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

Close up view of the Basket Dancers.

Tonita Vigil Peña (1893-1949) Quah Ah
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: San Ildefonso Pueblo
  • Medium: gouache on paper
  • Size:
    14” x 20” image;
    22-5/8” x 28-5/8” framed
  • Item # C3875B
  • SOLD

C3875B-paint.jpgC3875B-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.