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Re: HS art history-Folk Art Sculpture - New Mexico/Mexico


From: Judy Decker (judydeckeriad_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Oct 05 2003 - 19:25:33 PDT

Ruth - I don't know if this ties in.... but I found
the image interesting so am sharing it. It does fit in
with your time of year.

Dear Friends in Art Education,

For those of you doing Days of the Dead.... I was
leafing through my American Art History book - just
for the heck of it (huge book with no color
pictures) and came across an image that intrigued me.
It was a Carretas de la Muerte from 1850 (Cart of
Death - probably made by someone in the Lopez
family - New Mexico). I couldn't find anything about
that image online -- but did find that the Lopez
family is still carrying on this tradition. Since it
interested me - I thought I would share with you. My
students would have thought these were neat - maybe
yours will, too.

La Carreta De La Muerte (The Cart of Death)
From Cruz: The death cart is a very old part of my
cultural history. There is an old tradition in New
Mexico and the Southwest, including Mexico, in which
the personification of death is depicted as a
'calavera,' a skeleton with long gray hair, often
referred to as 'Dona Sebastiana.' She is the
embodiment of death and usually carries some form of
deadly weapon, such as a scythe, bow and arrow, axe,
sword, whip, etc. She is a reminder that death
comes to all of us, in one form or another.

Wood scultures by Cruz Lopez - New Mexico
Wonderful work (pastel with pine frame)- My Father the
Saint Maker:
(not a site to take you students to - but you might
want to look at his work).

Horacio Valdez - this image looks closer to the image
from 1850.
Members of the Penitente sect of northern New Mexico
drag death carts through the streets during Holy Week
to remind the faithful of their mortality. Valdez
followed a two-hundred-year-old tradition when he
carved this figure of death riding in a cart, ready to
claim new victims with his (her)bow and arrow.
Wonderful Exhibit! - Treasures to go - Contemporary
Folk Art:

Contemporary Dona Sebastiana Death Cart:
(this site has some interesting images - but the
pop--up ads are annoying)
More of Jerry Vigil's carvings:
Some Days of the Dead Art:
Days of the Dead art - is Sculpty clay on wood.
Nice alter/shrines (see gallery 3)

Here is help for anyone wanting to work
interdisciplinary with American literature (tie in
with social studies too):

For anyone still reading -

Now what got me interested in this? I bought a book
today on American art:
The Essential History of American Art -- goes from
1765 to 1982 (mainly white Americans)....but is
lacking in African American Art and Native
American Art. Book was only $4.99 so that was fine
with me. It is full of quality color images. My thick
American Art History book only goes up to 1960.

Waldon's Books has some great buys on art books if you
have one in your area. Ours just got a bunch of new
ones in.

Good night Getty - Sure was a fun filled weekend
folks. Here's wishing you a fabulous week.

Judith Decker
Incredible Art Department
Incredible Art Department
Incredible Art Resources

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