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Animals

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Animal Frieze

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Animal Studies

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Animal Designs

Smithsonian American Art Museum
The paintings of Awa Tsireh (1898-1955), who was also known by his Spanish name, Alfonso Roybal, represent an encounter between the art traditions of native Pueblo peoples in the southwestern United States and the American modernist art style begun in New York in the early twentieth century. The son of distinguished potters, Awa Tsireh translated geometic pottery designs into stylized watercolors that feature the ceremonial dancers and practices of Pueblo communities. But Awa Tsireh's work is more than an amalgam of traditional and modernist design. At a time when the U.S. Office of Indian Affairs attempted to restrict Pueblo cultural and religious practices, the watercolors of Awa Tsireh and other Pueblo artists helped to affirm the importance of ceremonial dance and tirual to cultural survival.

Awa Tsireh's paintings quickly found an audience among the artists, writers, and archaeologists who descended on Santa Fe in great numbers in the late 1910s and 1920s. Painter John Sloan and poet Alice Corbin Henderson took a particular interest and arranged for his watercolors to be exhibited in New York, Chicago, and elsewhere. Henderson shared with the young Pueblo painter books on European and American modernism and Japanese woodblock prints, as well as South Asian miniatures and ancient Egyptian art that provided soure material for his stylized paintings. In this way, he redefined contemporary Pueblo art and created a new, pan-Pueblo style.

The paintings in this exhibition were donated to the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 1979 by the Hendersons' daughter, Alice H. Rossin.

Animal Designs presents a grid of colorful, fantastical creatures inspired by traditional Pueblo pottery, Navajo blanket design, and Mayan hieroglyphic writing. The oversize paper and darker background as well as the decision to present the composite creations in linear patterns reveal the artist's willingness to invent new forms.

Animal Kingdom

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Animal Parade

Smithsonian American Art Museum

(Untitled--Animal Studies)

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Dead Animals #387

Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Animals

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Four Sketches of Animals

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Untitled (Sketches of Animals)

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Animals of the Sea [painting] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Photographed for: New Gallery.

"Odilon Redon, Gustave Moreau, Rodolphe Bresdin," New York, NY: Museum of Modern Art, 1961, pg. 86.

Pastoral Scene--Animals, Cabins, Trees

Smithsonian American Art Museum

No Title Given: Animal [sculpture] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Title supplied by cataloger.

Man on Horseback with Tethered Animal

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Animals Looking for Food at Night

Smithsonian American Art Museum

(Landscape with Animated Foreground)

Smithsonian American Art Museum

(Designs for Tapestry--Birds and Small Animals)

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Indian Farming and Animal Husbandry

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Animal Construction [sculpture] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Title supplied by cataloger.

Animal Music for the Spheres

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Jungle Animals [graphic arts] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Amon Carter Museum, 2009.

Abstract Figure and Animal [painting] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Title supplied by cataloger.
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