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A historic New Mexico carved and painted wooden retablo

of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Santa Fe, NM, c. 1910-1915

This lovely, hand-adzed, carved and painted retablo of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is a pure piece of old Santa Fe folk art with a fascinating local provenance. According to the detailed story handwritten in ball point pen on the back of the retablo by prominent Santa Fe artist and writer, Ina Sizer Cassidy (1869-1965), she acquired the retablo in 1960 when she was 91 years of age from her then 57-year old neighbor on Canyon Road, Jake Mora, who told her that his father had carved it and his mother had painted it when he was a little boy which would mean that it was made sometime around 1910-1915.

Ina Sizer Cassidy was a most fitting custodian for this uniquely New Mexican Spanish Colonial folk art treasure, being an accomplished New Mexico artist herself, widow of another accomplished New Mexico artist, her former husband, Ira Diamond Gerald Cassidy (1869-1934) and extremely active in various Santa Fe arts societies including The Spanish Colonial Arts Society and The Historical Society of New Mexico. Ina Sizer Cassidy died and was buried in Santa Fe’s historic Fairview Cemetery alongside her husband in 1965. How this retablo made the journey from her hands to ours is lost to time, but the retablo and its fascinating story remain.

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The retablo is made from a beautiful, big slab of hand-adzed local Ponderosa pine wood which was almost certainly cut in the old sawmill which existed at the top of Canyon Road in the early years of the 20th Century. The board measures 20” in height, 15” in width and is a little over 1” in depth. Both the pocket-knife carving and painting are simply and beautifully achieved completely in keeping with the highly devotional nature of such an object. The retablo is in very good original condition overall with a few stains and nicks here and there and some amount of paint abrasion as Ina Sizer Cassidy detailed in her note on the back.

This unique retablo is a significant and historic piece of old Santa Fe and New Mexico history and a very

beautiful devotional object in its own right.

Price $1,650

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Ina Sizer and Gerald Cassidy’s former home at 924 Canyon Road, Santa Fe