pueblo street market

1920s

2006, oil, 46"h x 64"w

8.Pueblo Street Market 46x64.jpg

In 1926, the old Beale Wagon Road became the national highway then known as Route 66. The Fred Harvey Company of Indian Traders provided an easier and more adventurous way to visit the homeland of the Pueblo people by traveling along this road. Unique jewelry and pottery of exceptional manufacture were the predominant art forms of the Pueblo. The legacy of Pueblo pottery began centuries earlier, probably with the Anasazi. From Taos to Laguna, Acoma and Zuni, each Pueblo developed distinct pottery styles and decorative embellishments.

In the right foreground, the classic Zuni "deer-in-the-house" motif appears. Amid the bustling Zuni street market, a young elementary school teacher barters with a Zuni girl for a pottery owl. Being a teacher and a mother herself, this woman's expression and gesture reveal the fond and tender sympathy she feels for the children.

On a trip to Zuni to experience the location, and for further study of the tribal history, the artist became intrigued with the progressive history, style variety, location and beauty of Pueblo pottery. That appreciation served as the motivation and inspiration for this painting.