Jimmy Toddy (1928- )
Untitled (Black Horse)
water media/masonite, glazed, 18" x 24"
$ 2,750

Jimmy Toddy
Untitled (Indian Dancer)
water media/paper, glazed, 13" x 17" at sight
$ 2,500


Jimmy Toddy (Beatien Yazz/Little No-Shirt)
     Born in the pinon- and juniper-forested hills near the trading post at Wide Ruins, Jimmy’s mother died when he was very young and he (and his brother and sister) was raised by his father and grandmother. About 1936 Bill and Sallie Lippincott bought the trading post and moved in to manage it. Jimmy’s father worked for them and Jimmy liked to hang around the store. After a visit with the Lippincotts to see the Shalako at Zuni, Bill’s mother gave Johnny a painting book, some watercolors and some crayons. A few days later he brought the book back with pictures on every page.1 From then on the Lippincotts kept Jimmy supplied with paper and paint and set aside a corner of the store as his studio. He painted almost every day and his paintings sold to the few tourists who came through for 25 and 50 cents each.
     Largely self-taught until he spent a year at the Santa Fe Indian School and worked in the "Studio" under Geronima Montoya along with Gilbert Atencio and Wesley Nash (either in 1942-43 or 1943-44), Jimmy was drafted (as a result of "increasing" his age to work for the railroad in Window Rock after his year at SFIS) in 1945 and actually trained as a Navaho Code Talker. Discharged in 1946, he returned to Wide Ruins where the Lippincotts had set up a separate building as a studio for him. He spent the next 3 or 4 years continuing his education, including some time at the Chicago Art Institute and Mills College (where he became familiar with the work of Yasuo Kuniyoshi).2
     Following his final return to Wide Ruins Jimmy has been painting subjects drawn from Navajo daily life for the last 50+ years. Over the course of time he has used watercolor, poster paints, casein and finally acrylic. His treatments have generally been "traditional" (in the "studio style") but he has shown more "modernist" works on numerous occasions.3  His painting are represented in numerous public and private collections (including the Philbrook in Tulsa and the Fine Art Museum in Santa Fe) and he has won numerous awards throughout his career. His artistic statement is that: "I like to be painting the traditional life of the Navaho… I like to paint about… my own people, culture and religion, my old traditional life; (t)hat’s what is interesting to me."4
     We have two works currently available:
Untitled (Black Horse), water media/masonite, glazed,
18" x 24", $ 2,750
Untitled (Indian Dancer), water media/paper, glazed, at sight
13" x 17", $ 3,500

Tanner, Clara Lee. Southwest Indian Painting, A Changing Art, Tucson, University of Arizona Press, 1973
Seymour, Tryntje Van Ness. Where the Rainbow Touches Down, The Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ 1988

1 Seymour p. 93
2 Seymour, p. 94
3 Tanner, p. 348-9
4 Seymour, p. 94-5


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