New Mexico Art Tells its History

Washington Landscape with Peace Medal Indian

Washington Landscape with Peace Medal Indian, 1976
T. C. Cannon (American, Kiowa-Caddo, 1946 - 1978)
acrylic on canvas, 50 x 46 in. (127 x 116.8 cm) (frame)
Gift of Nancy and Richard Bloch, 2001
2001.13.1

Tommy (T.C.) Cannon was born in Lawton, Oklahoma, to a Kiowa father and a Caddo mother. He was given the name Pai-doung-u-day, which translates into "One Who Stands In The Sun." He displayed a talent for drawing and writing at an early age winning numerous awards for his artwork. After graduating from high school, T. C. attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, studying with Fritz Scholder and working alongside many notable young Native artists. His sense of humor was reflected in the way he combined the old traditional art and incorporated it into contemporary issues. While serving with the 101st Airborne in Vietnam, Cannon won two bronze stars as well as a Medal of Valor from the Vietnamese government. He died in an automobile accident in Santa Fe.

Reflective Questions and Activities:

E How do you know this scene takes place in Washington D. C.? Would you describe it as a modern or historic scene? Why? How does T. C. Cannon continue the tradition of memorializing Native American trips to the Capitol?  
E/S Why were Indians brought to Washington D.C.? What kinds of gifts or recognition were they given? What kind of commentary might Cannon be making on this past precedent? Why?  
E What colors are Cannon using in this painting? How do they affect you emotionally: are they calming? agitated? other? What else? What do you think is his message in using these colors?  
S What style of painting is this called? What other artists worked in this style in the 1970s?  

 


 

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