Post by Charnell
The previous post zeroed in on a photograph of T. Harmon Parkhurst’s studio provided by Marilyn Casabonne. It contained a historical treasure-trove of Quincy Tahoma paintings. What could be better? How about two more Parkhurst photos that show many more Tahoma paintings?
In the second photo, the superimposed red number 1 (right side, large painting framed with white matte) identifies a 1946 painting entitled Spearing Dinner. Originally purchased by Bernalillo trader James Silva and now in the hands of a new owner, it can be seen on page 199 of the book Quincy Tahoma: The Life and Legacy of a Navajo Artist. Other paintings in this snapshot are similar to ones I have seen (or photographed while researching Tahoma’s art), but there were no additional exact matches. The same holds true for the third and last photo of the series.
I cropped the final snapshot so the reader could see the photograph, outlined by a red box, that T. Harmon Parkhurst took of Quincy Tahoma. This official portrait of the Navajo artist appears on page 184 of the book, where it has a special place of honor in the Epilogue.
Tahoma gave a signed copy to Dick Jones, with whom he became friends during their imprisonment in 1947. Also, a large color version of the portrait currently is on display at Adobe Galleryin Santa Fe through September 20, courtesy of collector Mark O. Rosaker. Clearly, this portrait started as a T. Harmon Parkhurst photograph and it was probably colored using Marshall oils (the popular technology in the 1940s and 1950s, folks!)
It’s possible that Quincy Tahoma himself colored the portrait, since he reportedly did that type of work for photographer Parkhurst. So, thanks to Marilyn Casabonne, several mysteries have been solved by these three photographs of the Parkhurst studio.
- We now know that they were taken in 1946, as was the portrait of Tahoma .
- We also know that Quincy Tahoma’s ability to create similar (look-alike) scenes from memory was even more developed and astonishing than we had previously thought.
- And we know that T. Harmon Parkhurst was one of Tahoma’s best cheerleaders, featuring his watercolors throughout his studio on Don Gaspar Street. We have known for quite some time that Tahoma’s art sold quickly, so the abundance of his paintings in Parkhurst’s photos speaks to how prolific an artist he was.
How exciting is it to unravel bits and pieces of history from three 8×10 black and white photos 60+ years old?! All rights are reserved for all photos used in this post. If you want to compare these paintings and the Tahoma portrait, you can purchase the book from the Buy Now box on the right hand top of the page. We would love to locate some of the other Tahoma paintings shown in this pictures. Even with more than 250 of Quincy’s paintings featured in Quincy Tahoma: The Life and Legacy of a Navajo Artist, we know that there are many we have never located. Do you have any leads for us? (Reminder: if you are reading this in your e-mail, you will need to click over to the website to respond).