SEPTEMBER 19, 1918


Born in Santa Clara Pueblo near Espanola, New Mexico (NM), Pablita’s name meant “Golden Dawn.”  At Santa Fe Indian School in 1936, one of her teachers was famed Tewa artist Tonita Peña.  In 1939, the National Park Service commissioned her to paint scenes from Pueblo life.  Her art presented a woman’s perspective.  In 1956, Pablita began a unique painting style using ground-up colored rocks.  In 1960, with her book, Old Father the Storyteller, she became the 1st Pueblo woman to be published.  Her work is in the: Philbrook Museum of Art; Museum of NM; Bandelier Nat’l Monument Museum; Museum of Indian Arts & Culture; Arizona State Museum; Ruth & Charles Elkus Collection of Native American Art; and National Museum of Natural History.  Awards: ‘Palmes d’Academiques,’ Gov’t. of France (1954), NM Governor’s Award (1977) & Santa Fe Living Treasure (1988).  Daughter Helen Hardin & granddaughter Margrete Bagshaw, also became prominent artists.  She died January 12, 2006, in Albuquerque, NM.

Source:  “Pablita Velarde (1918-2007) Biography,” Medicine Man Gallery.  Retrieved 7/12/2020,
Photo:  Chris Judson, U.S. National Park Service, 2003.  Public Domain.  

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