The Solemn Pledge, Taos Indians

A work made of oil on canvas.

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.

Date:

1916

Artist:

Walter Ufer
American, 1876–1936

About this artwork

In The Solemn Pledge, Walter Ufer portrayed three generations of Native Americans, combining a bright, saturated palette with sensitively modeled figures. The white robes worn by the boy and two of the men suggest that the group is considering pledging the boy to kiva instruction, a Pueblo tradition of education in ceremonial practices, history, and language. The painting’s subject alludes to the necessary deliberation among early 20th-century Native communities about holding fast to traditions amid governmental assimilation efforts, an issue with ongoing relevance. Ufer, who trained at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and in Munich, was an active member by 1917 of the Taos Society of Artists, a group of white artists dedicated to painting the region’s people and landscape.

On View

American Art, Gallery 272

Artist

Walter Ufer

Title

The Solemn Pledge, Taos Indians

Origin

United States

Date

1910–1920

Medium

Oil on canvas

Inscriptions

Signed l.l.: W. Ufer

Dimensions

101.9 × 92.1 cm (40 1/8 × 36 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Friends of American Art Collection

Reference Number

1916.441

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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