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Untitled Painting of a Pueblo Woman Carrying a Pot [SOLD]


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Gilbert Atencio (1930-1995) Wah Peen
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: San Ildefonso Pueblo
  • Medium: gouache
  • Size: 18” x 13” image; 25” x 20” framed
  • Item # C3874T
  • SOLD

Artist Signature - Gilbert Atencio (1930-1995) Wah PeenGilbert Atencio attended the Santa Fe Indian School, graduating in 1947.  His profession was as a medical illustrator at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, which is located close to the San Ildefonso Pueblo Reservation.   His strong sense of family and tribal responsibility resulted in his seldom venturing from his native pueblo.  The artist believed in the traditional Indian ways and his favorite subjects were ceremonies, ceremonial figures, and scenes from pueblo life.  Much of his inspiration came from stories his aunts told him about their lives.


Atencio will certainly be recognized as one of the finest pueblo painters of the second half of the 20th century, not only from San Ildefonso Pueblo, but among all pueblo painters.  His attention to detail was unequalled.  As a professional medical illustrator, Atencio carried his precise drawing and painting skills over to his fine art paintings.  I have been told that he practiced the same diligence relating to ceremonial functions at the pueblo.  He did not accept anything less than perfection.


Atencio has provided us with a painting of a beautifully and traditionally dressed San Ildefonso young woman carrying a large jar on her head as she heads to or from the watering hole.   She has a gourd ladle in her left hand.  The tree is adorned with two beautiful butterflies and a pair of birds fly overhead.  Every detail of the young woman is perfect.  The Untitled Painting of a Pueblo Woman Carrying a Pot is circa 1950s.


Condition: original condition


- Personal collection of Richard M. Howard, Santa Fe,

- Charlotte G. Mittler collection from 1990 to present

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