''Pueblo Life, Taos'', signed lower right: A.K. Skeele, titled on the stretcher, unframed oil on canvas, 42'' H x 38'' W, est: $10,000/15,000
Note: Local Monrovia artist Anna Katharine Skeele spent many summers working and living among the Taos Indians at the Taos Pueblo. The present work is an important example from these extended trips. Skeele focuses on women working, placing the monumental figures directly at the foreground of the scene. One woman assists a young child on a horse while it waters and a second woman bends to fill a clay pot in the same stream. Painted in a stylized modernist style, Skeele keeps detail to a minimum on the ground and in the background hills in order to focus all of the viewer's attention on life in the Pueblo. Skeele moved to California in 1912 and attended Pomona College. Extensive art studies continued after graduation, first at the California School of Fine Arts in 1920 then in Monterey under Armin Hansen, at the Art Students League in New York under Charles Hawthorne, and finally in Paris and Florence. After her travels, Skeele returned to Monrovia where she would remain permanently and was an art teacher at Monrovia High School for many years. Summers spent in Taos enabled Skeele to explore the Native culture that would be the most important subject of her artistic career. The present work, as well as a number of additional works throughout this auction catalogue by Skeele, her husband Frode Dann, and her niece's husband Paul Coze all come out of Coze's estate and as a collection offer an incredible variety of fresh estate pieces featuring many of the most meaningful subjects to each of the three artists. Provenance: Estate of Paul and Katharine Coze, Phoenix, AZ; Private Collection, Phoenix, AZ, acquired from the above
Visual: Generally good condition. Areas of paint shrinkage scattered throughout, the heaviest areas in the upper corners and in the pink of the woman's clothes. Areas of instability and paint loss scattered throughout. Wear along the edges and corners with some canvas loss along the left edge. Blacklight: Small spots of touch-up around the horse's nose and reflection lower right. A 7'' x 2'' scattered area of touch-up upper center. A pea-sized area of restoration left center to repair a hole in the canvas. Difficult to read under varnish.