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Velarde, Pablita (1918–)

Velarde, Pablita (1918–)

Native American artist. Name variations: Tse Tsan (Golden Dawn). Born Sept 1918 at Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico; dau. of Herman and Marianita Velarde (died 1921); often stayed with paternal grandmother Qualupita, a medicine woman; attended St. Catherine's Indian School; graduate of Bureau of Indian Affairs' Santa Fe Indian School, 1936; studied under Dorothy Dunn; m. Herbert Hardin (non-Indian night watchman at the Bureau), in 1942 (div. 1959); children: Helen Bagsaw Hardin (1943–1984, artist); Herbert Hardin Jr. (b. 1944).

One of the most prominent Tewa painters from the Santa Clara Pueblo in New Mexico, began to paint from her tribal experience and to master the tribal symbols (1932); turned artistic attention to Native ceremonials, capturing them with photographic detail; at 15, was selected to work with artist Olive Rush on murals for Chicago World's Fair (1933); painted archaeological and ethnological murals for Bandelier National Monument Visitors' Center (1939); wrote and illustrated Old Father, Story Teller (1960), a book of Tewa tribal legends; completed 4 panels for Museum of New Mexico and a large acrylic mural, The Herd Dance, for Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque (1970s); in a career that spanned more than 50 years, exhibited widely and received many awards, including the Philbrook Art Center's Grand Prize (1948) and a special trophy for Outstanding Contributions to Indian Art (1968), the 1st woman to be so honored. A retrospective of her work, "Woman's Work: The Art of Pablita Velarde," was held at the Wheelwright Museum in Santa Fe (1993).

See also Women in World History.

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