Skip to Content
Today Open today 10–11 members | 11–8 public

The Solemn Pledge, Taos Indians

A work made of oil on canvas.

Image actions

  • A work made of oil on canvas.




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, Gallery 272


Arts of the Americas


Walter Ufer


The Solemn Pledge, Taos Indians


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on canvas


Signed l.l.: W. Ufer


101.9 × 92.1 cm (40 1/8 × 36 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Friends of American Art Collection

Reference Number


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 . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions