the early painters gradually evolved in draughtsmanship and complexity,
until today a very strong and individual American Indian school of
painting has taken root.

In 1922 Doctor Hewett wrote: "The Indian race may attain to a
place equal to that of the Orientals, whose art in many respects, such
as its flat, decorative character, absence of backgrounds and foregrounds,
freedom from our system of perspective, unerring color sense and
strangely impersonal character, it strongly resembles."

Three full-blooded Indian youths, painting in their own style, were
given special encouragement. The boys were Awa Tsireh, of San
Ildefonso, Fred Kaboti, a Hopi, and Ma-Pe-Wi, from Zia pueblo. In
1925 the Newberry Library in Chicago showed a score of Awa Tsireh's
water colors. In 1927 Ma-Pe-Wi, Awa Tsireh, Tonita Pena, and
Crescendo of San Ildefonso had paintings at the International Art
Center in New York City.

In the United States Indian Schools as late as 1928, Indian children
were prohibited from painting Indian subjects, until a United States
Congressman expressed the changing sentiment, slow but sure in com-
ing to the surface: "Who wants to go West to buy a picture painted
by an Indian of three apples on a plate?"

In 1929 a Sunday edition of a newspaper in Madrid, Spain, acclaimed
a water color of a "Zuni Basket Dance" shown among the paintings of
the Pueblo Indians in the Congress of Folk Arts held at Prague. By
1931 Oqwa Pi of San Ildefonso was exhibiting in the Museum of
Modern Art in New York City,

But it was September of 1933 before the Indian Bureau in Wash-
ington decided upon the need of a department of painting in the Santa
Fe Indian School. The paintings of the students have been exhibited
at the Royal College of Art in London, at the Trocadero in Paris,
in shows all over the European and American continents. Large
murals have been executed by the Indian youths in their laboratories
and dining rooms; and in Government and private buildings, depicting
ceremonial dances, scenes of the hunt, of wild life, and of typically
Indian industries. A permanent exhibit is usually to be found at the
Santa Fe Indian School, while adult Indians will show you their paint-
ings in their own homes. The nominally priced pictures may be ob-
tained from artists living in the pueblos, from the Indian Schools, the
Santa Fe Art Museum, the better shops, and the professional galleries.


During the period of Spanish colonization of New Mexico, Spain
was at the height of her artistic glory. It was the period of Velasquez
and El Greco, and among the lesser artists Ribera (who visited Italy