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Joseph Noonan (1906-1982) Waáno-Gano


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Joseph "Waáno-Gano" Noonan (1906-1982) signatureJoseph Theodore "Waáno-Gano" ("Joe") Noonan was an artist born on March 3, 1906 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He self-identified as being of Cherokee descent. The name Waáno-Gano comes from waáno meaning "bow" and gano meaning "arrow" in the Iroquois language, Seneca dialect.

During his career he specialized in Native American scenes and California landscapes, winning numerous awards for his colorful oil paintings. A highly acclaimed artist, his work is in the collections of the Sherman Indian Museum, Western Airlines Offices as well in many public buildings in Los Angeles.  He exhibited throughout the 1930s and 1940s at the California Art Club, San Fernando Valley Art Club, Los Angeles Museum of Art, Los Angeles City Hall, and in Chicago. He also lectured on Indian life, designed Indian motifs for textiles, and painted murals in Rapid City, South Dakota, and San Francisco, California.

In 1961, he was in a car accident and his painting style changed. He continued to paint Native American images, celebrating the myths and legends of his Cherokee ancestors.