(1920 - 1956)
Quincy Tahoma was one of the most successful Artists to be trained at the Santa Fe Indian School Studio in New Mexico. After his birth in 1920, Tahoma was raised on the Navajo Reservation near Tuba City, Arizona. As a youth, he became familiar with many of the traditional Navajo religious chants and rituals. During this time, he also became an accomplished sand painter. Later in life, he drew much of his artistic inspiration from his boyhood experiences.
After studying art in Santa Fe from 1936 to 1940, Tahoma joined the armed forces and served in the signal corps during World War II. After the war, he returned to the Navajo Reservation and became a successful artist. His brilliant colors and precise lines along with the two-dimensional disposition of his work reflected the nature of American Indian painting in the American Southwest at that time. His imaginative style and elegant designs distinguished him from his peers. Rather than posing his subjects in a static manner, for example, Tahoma painted them in action.
As a successful American Indian artist, he created a studio for young American Indians that fostered many famous artists. Although most of Tahomass subjects were traditional Indian pursuits such as riding, fishing, and hunting, he also painted distinctive landscape scenes.
This gifted Navajo artist died of alcoholism in November 1956 in Santa Fe. He left behind a tremendous legacy of art that is still remembered and cherished by those familiar with the field.
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