Yazzie was a self-taught Navajo (Diné) artist based in New Mexico. Navajo Dance depicts the Nightway, a traditional Navajo ceremony. The painting was made for a tourist market and is emblematic of the Santa Fe Studio School style. “The Studio,” at the Santa Fe Indian School, supported the training of Native American artists from the early 1930s to the 1960s, encouraging production of secular genre scenes to be sold commercially. While The Studio is credited with offering economic opportunity to Native artists and craftspeople and creating a market for Native American art among non-Native Americans, it was challenged by Native American artists in the late 1950s for being restrictive and overly focused on the preservation of traditions that White Americans presumed were disappearing. The School was replaced by the Institute of American Indian Arts.
Lisa Crossman (2020)
figures; horses; tents; indigenous people
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