Photographer Andrea Portago saw her first kachina in the early seventies in the studio of George Terasaki, from whom her friend and collaborator Andy Warhol was buying Native American art. When Alan Kessler’s collection of kachinas was auctioned at Sotheby’s in 1997, an extraordinary collection of classic kachina figures was unveiled that served as the impetus for Portago’s exploration of the carvings. Presented here are classic-era (1880s-1940s) Hopi and Zuni carved dolls that have rarely been displayed. Portago gracefully photographed these rare figures using available light so as not to distort their colors, and to reveal their drama and passion.
|Publisher:||Museum of New Mexico Press|
|Product dimensions:||10.00(w) x 12.00(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
Barton Wright is the foremost authority on Hopi Kachinas and author of Clowns of the Hopi: Traditional Keepers and Delight Makers and Kachinas: A Hopi Artist's Documentary (both from Northland ublishing).
Andrea Portago was born in New York City and raised and educated in Europe and the Far East. She studied photography at the International Center of Photography in New York and the Santa Fe Workshops. She holds a master's degree in history from Columbia University.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I have been awaiting publication of this book for several months, and I am very disappointed. Listing the book as 'by' Barton Wright is a bit misleading. Wright's expertise on Hopi and Zuni katsinas is well established, but this book seems to be the work of the photographer Andrea Portago, whose knowledge about katsinas is far less clear. I have great respect for Barton Wright, former director of the Museum of Northern Arizona and a leading expert on katsinas. His contribution to the book, however, seems to be limited to the reprinting a fine essay he wrote 20 years ago as part of a series on the Iconography of Religions (a work on Pueblo Cultures) published in the Netherlands by E.J. Brill in 1986. The book is not user-friendly, especially for novices on the subject of katsinas. Of its 174 pages, the first 130 pages are not numbered and consist of photographs of katsinas (in full color) or Southwest landscapes (all photographed in black and white). No plate numbers are given on the pages, and the photos provide no scale or sense of size of the katsina. Many of the photographs are not appropriately centered, and there are only about four or five different backgrounds for all the katsinas photographed. One must go to the back of the volume to find the 'Illustrated List of Plates,' which provides descriptive information on each photograph. However, since there are no page or plate numbers in the body of the book, one must tediously page back and forth to match the information with the specific photographs. If you are obsessive about katsinas, like I am, and you want to make your personal library as comprehensive as possible when it comes to books about Hopi and Zuni katsinas, you might consider purchase of this book. Be forewarned, however, that it provides no new information on the topic, and the poor organization of the book makes it difficult to use. On the other hand, the book does contain a number of interesting katsinas, carved between the 1880s to the 1940s, so you might consider it on that basis. This work is not for the novice--and yes, while I was disappointed, I won't be sending it back.