Painted circa 1930, when Couse was at his aesthetic peak, The Pottery Connoisseur posits one of the artist’s favorite models, Ben Lujan, as a native avatar of the collectors who visited his studio and cast a critical eye over his paintings. Here, Lujan appraises a Zia pot, identified by its flowing, woven bands and patterns, and the highly stylized flower. It’s worth noting that the pot depicted in the painting, which was originally given to the Vickerys by Kibbey Couse, will be donated to the Couse-Sharp Historic Site by the current owner. In the painting, a second water bottle sits in the corner of the firelit room, awaiting appraisal or perhaps having already passed muster. Couse often painted Taos Pueblo Indians squatting by the fire, fashioning arrows, painting, doing beadwork. Firelight allowed Couse to sculpt the bodies of his models and create shadows suggestive of ancestral spirits and cultural continuity.
In excellent condition. No apparent evidence of inpaint under UV light. No problems to note.
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