Details
Maynard Dixon (1875-1946)
The Ancient
signed and dated 'Maynard Dixon '15' (lower left)
oil on canvas
20 x 12 in. (50.8 x 30.5 cm.)
Provenance
Gump Galleries, San Francisco, California.
Mr. and Mrs. William R. Dominick, Oakland, California.
John Maxwell Desgrey, San Jose, California, 1970.
Literature
Wesley M. Burnside, Maynard Dixon: Artist of the West, Provo, UT, 1974, p. 158
"A Vision of the West," California Living Magazine of the San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle, July 12, 1981, pp. 14-15, illustrated
Katherine Plake Hough and Michael Zakian, "Modernism and the West," Antiques & Fine Art, June 1992, p. 60, illustrated
Exhibited
San Francisco, California, Gumps Galleries, n.d.
Oakland, California, Oakland Municipal Art Museum, The Upsher Collection Show, July-August 1962
San Francisco, California, California Historical Society, Maynard Dixon Retrospective Exhibition, February-April 1975
San Francisco, California, California Academy of Sciences, Maynard Dixon: Images of the Native American, June-October 1981, p. 42
San Buenaventura, California, Ventura County Museum of History and Art, Art of the American West from County Collections, June-August 1985, p. 2
Palm Springs, California, Palm Springs Desert Museum, Transforming the Western Image in Twentieth Century American Art, February-December 1992, no. 19, p. 18, illustrated

Lot Essay

Painted in 1915, The Ancient is a reflection of the spiritual qualities that Dixon observed and admired in Native American Indians and he endeavored to translate this sublime quality in his portrayal of the these peoples. Contrary to popular imagery depicting Native American's as a weaker race, Dixon "elevated the subjects in such paintings as The Ancient . . . to heroic stature in his search for ways to symbolize spiritual and poetic memories of Native American life. In these paintings, the figures are frozen against neutral backgrounds, and, illuminated by a flood of low-angle, early morning or evening light, they seem imbued with a mysterious, energizing force." (Donald J. Hagerty, Desert Dreams - The Life and Work of Maynard Dixon, Layton, Utah, 1993, p. 85)
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