I’ve just returned from a few days in the wonderful, timeless city of New Orleans. I could not help wondering if Quincy Tahoma ever saw that city? The odds are slim, but the possibility persists.
The De La Salle Christian Brothers, a French Catholic religious order, founded St. Michael’s school in Santa Fe in 1859 as part of San Miguel Mission. Originally, the school was open for boys only, and girls went to the Sisters of Loretto Academy nearby. The street now known as Santa Fe Trail was called University in Quincy’s day because it ran beside the St. Michael’s school.
Quincy Tahoma found a friend in Brother Francis at St. Michaels during the 1950’s. In exchange for a place to stay when he was out of money and recovering from a bout of drinking, Quincy painted pictures for the Christian Brothers, which they still display in their living quarters on the campus of the new St. Michael’s High School on the east side of Santa Fe. Quincy wrote a letter to Brother Francis after the former principal of the school had retired to the main office of the Santa Fe District of the Christian Brothers. That main office still stands in Lafayette, Louisiana.
In the letter, Quincy says that he might come down there next winter, and inquires whether they have any museums there. Harrison Begay says that he thinks Quincy once traveled to Louisiana, but we can find no other record of such a visit. We have also been unable to learn whether the Christian Brother’s archives contain any correspondence between Quincy and Brother Francis, or if any of his paintings made their way to Louisiana.
Of course, if you have any knowledge about this chapter of Quincy’s life, or if you can lead us to someone who might know, we would appreciate your help. We are sharing what we know so that others may share with us what they know about Quincy Tahoma. The more stories we have, the better picture we can paint of his life.
Posted by Vera Marie Badertscher May 25, 2009
Photograph by Vera Marie Badertscher. All rights reserved.