It is no accident that we currently have several Singing Mothers by Ada Suina. It has been one of her favorite forms for many years and I personally love them. The second storyteller that I ever bought was from Ada (my first was from Mary Anderson at her Cochiti home during my first visit to Santa Fe many years ago). This is a classic example; large, and just beautifully painted. It is yet another wonderfully chosen work, collected by Rutt Bridges in the 1980′s.
Born in 1930, Ada was already a prominent Cochiti figurative artist by the time the Babcock book, The Cochiti Storyteller, was published in 1986; Ada is referred to and featured in that book as often as any other artist with a wonderful example illustrated as color Plate 8.
She made her first storyteller in 1976, according to Babcock, and “…her figures are distinguished by their extremely fine workmanship, large and distinctive faces, and the addition of an unusual orange or apricot to the traditional polychrome.”
This piece displays all of those attributes and more; the beauty of it is in Ada’s attention to detail. At 10″ tall it is a major example of Ada’s singing mother oevre. The figure is not at all static, with the mother turning her body looking slightly up, joyfully lost in her song to her infant. Her face is peaceful and kind with subtly carved cheeks and eyes gracefully painted. She wears a striped shawl with fine line fringe; note how fine those lines are, adding to the overall softness of this figure. There are lines in the Mother’s hands and pleats or wrinkles in her sleeves. Her necklace and belt too; all finely painted. The sleeping infant is warmed by a blanket decorated with pottery designs.
Ada is now in her 80′s and still a fully capable artist; I bought several pieces from her in 2010 and they are wonderful. However, she is now out of white Cochiti slip and her ability to recreate these earlier masterpieces may now be gone.
Condition is excellent; original and unrestored.
Provenance: The Collection of Rutt Bridges