1921 (Tuba City, Arizona)
1956 (Santa Fe, New Mexico)
New Mexico/Arizona / Mexico
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Often Known For
Indian genre painting, symbolism
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|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|A Navajo painter and muralist, Quincy Tahoma was also one of the Indian
Code Talkers, who played such a critical part in the winning of World
War II in the Pacific. He was born near Tuba City, Arizona and
given the name Tahoma, which in Navajo means "Water Edge". Early
in his career, his paintings were serene and soothing in tone, but
increasingly they had subject matter of bloody wars and men killing
He attended the Albuquerque Indian School from 1936 to
1940, and did post- graduate work at the Santa Fe Indian School where
he developed his unique painting style with pastoral landscapes.
served overseas in World War II with the United States Army, and then
worked a short time as a painter in Hollywood movie studios. As a
full-time artist, he set up his studio in Santa Fe, but he died at age
35, a life shortened by alcoholism and the accusation that he
raped a white woman.
His paintings have a special "signature"
that shows the "end" of that particular painting--i.e., a painting of a
young girl standing by a horse might have in Tahoma's signature block a
tiny picture showing the girl riding the horse.
Patrick Lester, The Biographical Directory of Native American Painters, p. 540-541
Jeanne O. Snodgrass, American Indian Painters: A Biographical Directory, 186-187
|Biography from Adobe Gallery:|
While at Santa Fe Indian School, Quincy Tahoma, Navajo (1920-1956)
developed his unique painting style. He was active in sports and
set a district track record in 1940. After WWII, he established himself
as a full-time artist and shared his studios in the Southwest with
artists who are now well established.
Clara Lee Tanner rightly said he was “...one of the most dynamic,
imaginative, and gifted of Southwest artists.” During most of his
life, he experienced misfortune, and died at the age of 35. - Snodgrass
Tahoma painted a wide variety of subject matter but was perhaps best
known for his dynamic action filled paintings. He also painted pictures
full of humor. His signature included a vignette, a miniature scene
which depicted what happened after the action in the painting. - Lester
Tahoma died a tragic accidental death at the young age of 35.
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