Thursday, October 25, 2012

Connecting with Dorothea Dunn

I am on the road, visiting  Ruidoso , New Mexico. Finally I have  a good computer connection, and so  I get to write about what I have seen and learned. I guess this blog is really about the theme of connection.
 I had the most interesting discovery about a relative of mine. Her name is Dorothea Dunn, and she is my father's first cousin, so I guess she is my second cousin. I visited a  beautiful and informational museum, the Hubbard  Museum of the American West, in Ruidoso Downs.  It has an  emphasis on the Native American peoples of the west, plus other examples of western memorabilia. 
As I rounded a corner,there was this photo and information about my cousin, Dorothea, at a young age. I had heard  about her from my aunt, but  did not  know much about her. She came from Kansas, where my Dad's people are from, to teach art at the  Santa Fe Indian School in the 1930's. I learned know she herself was an artist. I had always wondered where my artistic passion came from in my family. She helped such well known artists as Allen Hauser, and others, reach a wider audience. Dorothea  wrote a definitive book on Native art, a big thick book that I have on my shelf , but have never read. When I look at the picture on the back cover, it is like looking at my father in female form. Travel brings us unexpected rewards, like connecting with ourselves, through those who came before us.

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