Night Ceremony by Gustave Baumann

Night Ceremony by Gustave Baumann

Night Ceremony

Gustave Baumann

Title

Night Ceremony

 
Artist
Year
1948  
Technique
color woodcut with aluminum leaf 
Image Size
8 x 8"  
Signature
pencil, lower right 
Edition Size
I 7-125 -48 
Annotations
titled, lower left 
Reference
Chamberlain 156.3; GB119 
Paper
cream laid with hand & heart watermark 
State
published 
Publisher
artist 
Inventory ID
AB410 
Price
$6,000.00 
Description

"Dancing Shards," "Fire Dance", "Potshards," and "Night Ceremony" are all edition titles Baumann contemplated as he worked out the palette for this depiction of painted ceramic shards, or "potsherds". Baumann began this imagery in 1938 in a darker palette (Chamberlain cat. 156.1); then again in a rose and aluminum-leaf palette (156.2). This is from the final edition (cat. 156.3). Said Baumann, "Pot shards are a kind of scrambled history of New Mexico with essential words omitted that archeologists are forever trying to find, which makes it an intriguing occupation." -p. 406, Chamberlain, In a Modern Rendering: The Color Woodcuts of Gustave Baumann.

Once Baumann settled in the southwest in 1918, he seems to have immediately begun collecting Indian kachina dolls and pottery. He respected the customs and ceremonies of the various pueblos and his attendance at the their dances was often noted in The New Mexican. In this seemingly abstract image, Baumann plays with potsherd shapes to create dancing kachinas.