Arizona Museum Collection

September 17, 2004

What is that old story about searching the world and finding treasure in your own back yard? I am here to tell you that is the way it happens.

I live in Arizona. Ever since Charnell Havens asked me to help track down information about Quincy Tahoma so that we could write a book that would share his life with people, I have been taking periodic trips to New Mexico to sift through library and museum files, have gone to other cities to interview people, have even looked in a Los Angeles museum and a New York City museum for paintings done by Tahoma. Finally, after having run all around the country for five years, I decided to take a look at a museum in my own home town.

When I e-mailed Alan Ferg at the Arizona State Museum in Tucson, he said, “I don’t think we have any documents. But we do have ninety paintings.”

How’s that again? NINETY?? And so I spent two days looking at and describing ninety small paintings that Quincy Tahoma painted between the age of 16 and 18 and one that he did in 1940 when he was 19 years old. I have seen how his natural talent for telling stories with line and color was present before he had achieved technical proficiency. And his love of certain subjects started way back when he was in the ninth or tenth grade. If you want to look at the ninety paintings, contact Alan Ferg, to make an appointment.

Have you seen the Tahoma collection at the Arizona State Museum? In what other museums have you seen Tahoma’s paintings? Please share with the other readers of the Tahoma Blog.

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