1928 (Navajo Reservation, Arizona)
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figure, genre-ceremonial dance, animal in landscape, Indian
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|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
Indian Name: Beatien Yazz (Little No Shirt)
A.K.A.: Jimmy Toddy
Born March 5, 1928 near White Ruins, AZ. Son of Desbah and Joe Toddy
Military: U.S. Marine Corps, Code Talker, World War II (South Pacific and China Theaters)
Education: Santa Fe; Ft. Wingate; Mills, 1949 under Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Chicago Art Institute
Navajo Police Department, Fort Defiance, Arizona; Carson Indian School
art teacher, illustrator, and professional painter.
Medium: oil, acrylic, casein, tempera, pencil, pen & ink, pastel, and prints
books are based on his life and career, and he has been featured in
numerous publications. He has won awards at every major showing of
throughout the United States.
The artist was
drawing and writing with crayons at eight years of age. Sallie and Bill
Lippencot, operators of Wide Ruins Trading Post, influenced him most by
recognizing and encouraging his talents. While still a student, he
sometimes worked in oils from a model. Today Beatien prefers to paint
animals and people, not landscapes, in the casein medium. (Jeanne
Snodgrass, "American Indian Painters).
Beatien Yazz stated that
he had been "painting since age eight," a long career in art that
spanned over a fifty-year period. "I established myself nationally and
In addition to my three oldest sons, Irving, Marvin, and Calvin
(QQ.V.), I have three other children entering the field of art; my
daughter, Francis Toddiy (Q.V.), who has been painting since she was
ten, Jimmiy, Jr., and Orland Toddy. They are eleven through twenty-two
years of age." (Artist, Personal Correspondance 1991).
years the artist's eyesight has deteriorated, and he has only
peripheral vision. According to his long-time friend, Sallie Lippencott
Wagner, he has glaucoma, and it has progressed too far to be treatable.
He continues to paint, but only in a limited way.
Compiled by Carole Le Beau, 1999
Patrick Lester, The Biographical Directory of Native American Painters
|Biography from Adobe Gallery:|
|Beatien Yazz, Little No Shirt (Jimmy Toddy)
was born in 1928 on the Navajo Reservation. Yazz showed promise as an
artist very early. At an early age, Yazz met the Lippencotts, traders
at the Wide Ruins Trading Post, and they made available to him scraps of
paper and other equipment so that he might practice in color.
Yazz was also the subject of Alberta Hannum's books Spin a Silver Dollar and Paint the Wind, and his works were used as illustrations.
He served in the U.S. Marines in World War II and was a member
of the famed Navajo Code Talkers. Following the war, he returned to the
reservation and began to paint in earnest. He specialized in subjects
familiar to him in his daily life on the reservation. He has been
eminently popular with collectors since the 1950s.
Beatien Yazz is now suffering from severe eye problems. The medical
doctors have not been able to determine what the problem is. A Navajo
Medicine Man said it is because he once painted the Navajo sacred
Yeibichai. To be cured, Yazz must have a purifying ceremony performed
by the Medicine Man. This is very expensive and Yazz is not yet able to
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