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Taos Indian

Taos Indian

Artist: Howard N. Cook (1901 Springfield, Massachusetts - 1980 Santa Fe, New Mexico)

Department: Art
Date: 1927
Medium: woodcut
Dimensions:
12 1/16 × 10 in. (30.6 × 25.4 cm)
Classification: Print
Credit Line: Albuquerque Museum, gift of the Albuquerque Museum Foundation
Object number: PC1986.1.1
Descriptionportrait of a seated Native American man
Not on view
Label Text:Some artists chose to challenge traditional Native American imagery by depicting
specific individuals or historic events. Howard Cook carved a stunning portrait of John Lujan, the uncle of Tony Lujan, Mabel Dodge Luhan’s husband. Bathed in light, John sits upon a chair draped with what appears to be an animal hide. He wears a traditional blanket with some specific design elements visible near his shoulder and knees. His long braids rest on his chest. His hands and features are at once tender, expressive, and at ease. Rather than being a staged model, he seems to be having his portrait done on his own terms. His gently clasped hands and slightly leaning posture capture what are seemingly characteristic gestures. The velvety black of the flat ambiguous background is reminiscent of modern portraiture. The tropes of adobe architecture, New Mexico skies, and mountain/desert terrain are nowhere to be found.

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