Signed Worden Bethell, this luscious print really captures the colors of the Southwest: the earth tones of the pueblo buildings and the shocking blue of its unpolluted skies. The ancient, and still inhabited, Hopi village of Walpi is pictured.
Charles Worden Bethell. Landscape painter, pastelist, printmaker. Born in Denver, CO on Jan. 23, 1899, Bethell settled in Redlands, CA with his family in 1905. After attending public schools there, he served in WWI. Upon discharge, he opted for an art career and enrolled at the Newman Art Institute in New Jersey. During the 1930s and 1940s he was a set designer for the movie industry in Hollywood. In his leisure he was active in the southern California art scene and served on the art committee of the Nat’l Orange Show.
Working in oil and pastel, he painted subjects inspired by the Colorado Desert, the American Southwest and the area around his home. Bethell died of cirrhosis of the liver in Redlands on Nov. 29, 1951.
Stendahl Gallery (LA), 1930; Gardena (CA) High School, 1933; Public Works of Art Project, So. Calif., 1934; Society for Sanity in Art, CPLH, 1944. In: San Bernardino County Museum. CA&A; Smiley Public Library (Redlands)
Walpi, (Navajo: Deezʼáahjįʼ), is a Hopi village established around 900 CE. It is located above Arizona State Route 264, east of the Grand Canyon in Navajo County, northern Arizona. Walpi is an ancient stone pueblo complex located on the First Mesa (of three), 300 feet (91 m) above the canyon floor, on the Hopi Reservation. The villages of Sichomovi and Tewa (Hano) are also on First Mesa, both established after the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 against the Spanish missions. Walpi, of the Hopi people, is one of the older continuously inhabited villages in the United States, continuously inhabited for more than 1100 years since around 900 CE. It is an example of traditional Hopi stone architecture, used for their historic pueblos built at defensive locations on the mesa tops.
The First Mesa Tourism Program describes the village of Walpi as — “a living village where the homes are passed down through matrilineal clan lineage.” In present times, Walpi is inhabited mainly by people from adjacent Tewa (Hano) village. They are Tewa people historically from the Pueblo culture, of present-day New Mexico. They still speak the Tewa language after 600 years amidst the Hopi language. About half a dozen in number live in the ancient stone dwellings, without running water or electricity, in the traditional manner.
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