Biography and Art

$49.95 hardcover

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Spirit Ascendant: The Art and Life of Patrocino Barela

Edward Gonzales
David L. Witt

Patrocino Barela (1900–1964) worked most of his life as a wood carver in Taos, New Mexico. A renowned santero—an artist who creates images of saints—Barela is recognized by New Mexico's contemporary Hispanic artists as a major source of inspiration. He emerged in 1936 as one of America's important artists when he was featured in a show of Federal Arts Project artists in New York's Museum of Modern Art, the first Mexican-American artist to be so recognized.


Edward Gonzales is well known for his paintings and murals of the Chicano culture of the Southwest. His paintings have been shown and collected in numerous museum collections and exhibitions.

Art historian and author David L. Witt has been the curator of the Harwood Foundation of the University of New Mexico. He is the past president of the New Mexico Association of Museums and founder of the Southwest Art History Council. Witt is the author of several books, including Taos Moderns: Art of the New and Modernists in Taos: From Dasburg to Martin.

Published By Red Crane Books

9 x 12 in. 139 pages 70 black-and-white illustrations