Waldo Mootzka (1910-1940)
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Waldo Mootzka, Hopi Pueblo, had no formal art training. He often observed Fred Kabotie painting at Oraibi Day School, and it may have been there that he learned the technique of watercolor painting. So, it's not surprising that Mootzka's work has been widely compared to that of Fred Kabotie in terms of Mootzka's outlines and proportions. In the 1930s, John Louw Nelson employed Mootzka, among others, to create paintings for sale that portrayed Indians in everyday life. Later, in Santa Fe, he was sponsored by Frank Patania, who taught him silversmithing.
In 1940, Mootzka was in an automobile accident that exacerbated his tuberculosis, and he died later that year. At the time of his death, Mootzka was devoting almost all his artistic talents to silverwork. Because of his early death at the age of only 30 years and his career as a jeweler, very few paintings by Mootzka are available for collectors to own.
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