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Honoring Margarete Bagshaw 1964-2015
— Santa Fe & Taos


May 23, 2015


Intro

Born with feisty energy and boundless curiosity, nationally acclaimed artist Margarete Bagshaw left this world on Thursday March 19, 2015 — 9 weeks from the day of her stroke — having forged a legacy as a brilliant Modernist painter, tireless innovator, generous friend and beloved wife and mother.



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    The Essential Guide

Born with feisty energy and boundless curiosity, nationally acclaimed artist Margarete Bagshaw left this world on Thursday March 19, 2015 — 9 weeks from the day of her stroke — having forged a legacy as a brilliant Modernist painter, tireless innovator, generous friend and beloved wife and mother. She was 50 years young, her head still swimming with the shapes and colors she hoped to paint.

Margarete's DNA contained the stuff of artistic royalty. Her grandmother, Santa Clara Pueblo painter Pablita Velarde, became part of a first wave of artists fueling a national demand for traditional Native art. Her mother, Helen Hardin, joined a second wave of artists bridging traditional and contemporary art. Carried into a third wave, Margarete saw herself not as a Native artist, but as a Modernist whose works sometimes were imbued with elements of Native iconography, but always celebrated abstract geometric patterns and luminous layers of color.

“I see myself as a phoenix,” Margarete wrote, “rising from whatever ashes life has dropped me into... I am here, thriving and loving my life.”

In the course of her career, Margarete's work was exhibited at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., the Ellen Noel Museum in Odessa, Texas, and dozens of other museums across the nation.

Perhaps most remarkable was her interior life-a world invested with lengthy and sometimes labyrinthine dreams that she used as inspiration and guidance in her everyday activities...

Whenever she painted, she often said, she heard the voices of her mother and grandmother, the rustle of the ancients. Through her work, she could commune with them. “Painting is our language,” she wrote in her memoir. “Used by and understood by all three of us. ... We communicate past to present, present to past. They both left unfinished paintings on their tables. ... What was left unsaid?”



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