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Tomás Vigil (1889-1960) Pan-Yo-Pin - Summer Mountain

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Thomas Vigil (1889-1960) signature

Thomas Vigil (1889-1960) whose Indian name Pan Yo Pin translates to Summer Mountain, was born at Tesuque Pueblo and was among few artists painting there as early as 1914, as witnessed by Santa Fe artist Olive Rush during a trip to Tesuque Pueblo that year. His works of art follow the early tradition of two-dimensional construction with no background or reference plane. His works generally are primitive in style but show much contrast in color value.

Thomas Vigil – Pan Yo Pin (Summer Mountain)

He was represented in an exhibition in New York in 1927 at what is now the Riverside Museum where "the paintings made a tremendous impression upon the Eastern public, and their spontaneity of conception and real beauty of color, and design, has been praised in the Eastern press." (Forum)

Vigil was one of the earliest 20th century Pueblo painters, with most of his works produced between 1920 - 1950.  A self-taught artist, his works captured the customs of the Tesuque Pueblo with rigid accuracy and detail.  His work set the standard for subsequent Tesuque painters, including his son, Paul Vigil.  His works are included in numerous collections, including the Millicent Rogers Museum (Taos, New Mexico) and the Museum of New Mexico in Santa Fe.  (Source Unknown)

He was also represented in the Exposition of Indian Tribal Arts in New York in 1931. The exposition garnered high praise from art critics such as the New York Times and others.

Reference:  American Indian Painting of the Southwest and Plains Areas by Dorothy Dunn.

Photograph of Tomás Vigil by Horace Swartley Poley (1863-1949), circa 1915.

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