Southwest Art Defined: An Illustrated Guide and Diné Tah: My Reservation Days, 1923-1939 have both been reviewed!
Featuring full-color photography of artworks from museums, galleries, and private collections on almost every page, Southwest Art Defined: An Illustrated Guide is a one-volume reference of alphabetized entries explaining important terms about the traditional arts of the American Southwest, including native American and Hispano art. For example, the entry for “Navajo Woodcarving” begins with “a folk art tradition established in the early 1960s by pioneering Navajo artist and healer Charlie Willeto (active ca. 1961-1964), who was encouraged and supported in his endeavor by Indian art traders in Arizona, and made hundreds of animal and human figures as artistic expressions intended for sale. Over time, other Navajos began carving and painting wooden figures as well.” Each entry spans multiple paragraphs and is quite detailed, yet accessible to readers of all backgrounds. Useful as a reference for art students, historians, or instructors, yet also beautiful to simply page through, Southwest Art Defined: An Illustrated Guide is enthusiastically recommended especially for public and college library art shelves.
Diné Tah: My Reservation Days, 1923-1939 by Alwin J. Girdner was also reviewed! In their Winter 2013 issue, the New Mexico Historical Review wrote a wonderful synopsis of Diné Tah and said some very nice things about what they called a “delightful memoir.”
The reviewer writes that in Diné Tah, “Girdner paints a colorful portrait of life among the Diné in the beautiful wilds of the of the Southwest.” The review continues: “It is precisely this unorthodox, folksly style and organization that makes this account so engaging, honest, and charming.” The reviewer concludes: “On top of it all, Girdner is just a good storyteller who will leave you smiling and laughing.”