Image source:
Margarete Bagshaw, 'Women's World' (detail). Image source:

Third-Generation Painter Margarete Bagshaw, Santa Fe Modernist, Walks On

Alex Jacobs

Artist Margarete Bagshaw walked on March 19 in Santa Fe at the age of 50. She was the third generation of female painters in her family; her mother was Helen Hardin, and her grandmother was groundbreaking Santa Clara Pueblo artist Pablita Velarde. Pablita Velarde was among the first Pueblo women to paint and make a career as an artist at a time when men dominated the field; she passed in 2006. Helen Hardin, who made a huge impression in Santa Fe as a painter, passed away young as well, in 1984.

The artworks of all three women are exhibited at the Golden Dawn Gallery in Santa Fe, opened by Bagshaw in 2009. She and her husband Dan McGuinness, also worked with other artists to open the Pablita Velarde Museum of Indian Women in the Arts in 2012. Several Native women artists have had exhibits there since. The lease is up next month and they are unsure what to do next at this point.

Margarete Bagshaw. Image source:

Margarete Bagshaw didn’t start painting until 1990 and she moved back to Santa Fe in 2009. Bagshaw suffered a stroke about nine weeks prior to her death and doctors found she had a growing tumor in her brain. Her husband, Dan McGuinness, said they realized then she didn’t have much time to live, but that she had enough time to bid farewell to friends and family.

Bagshaw seemed to have a sense something was coming; she started to write her own memoir in 2012 and oversaw biographies of her mother and grandmother. The resulting books are Pablita Velarde: In Her Own Words by Shelby Tisdale, Helen Hardin: A Straight line Curved by Kate Nelson, and her own Margarete Bagshaw: Teaching My Spirit to Fly. These contain retrospectives of each artist’s work, and were published by Little Standing Spruce Publishing, which is owned by Golden Dawn Gallery. The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe also exhibited a solo career retrospective of Bagshaw’s work in 2012.

Margarete Bagshaw, 'Birth of a Mystic.' Image source:

Margarete Bagshaw relied on intuition and visions all her life, she was greatly optimistic, she called herself “a phoenix”, spiritual but not religious, loved to hold gatherings and was the life of the party. She was considered a modernist painter and only occasionally included Native American iconography. She developed her own style but her large dynamic pieces were a tributes to her mother and grandmother. Private ceremonies were held and her family asked that any donations be made to Muza Kids: A Year in the Arts, a non-profit that funds art projects for low-income families.

Alex Jacobs
Santa Fe NM

Margarete Bagshaw, 'Ancestral Procession.' Image source:

Margarete Bagshaw, 'Hatshepsut: The Lady Pharaoh.' Image source:

Margarete Bagshaw, 'My World Is Not Flat.' Image source:

Margarete Bagshaw, 'Spinning in Four Directions.' Image source:

Margarete Bagshaw, 'Internal Metronome.' Image source:

Margarete Bagshaw, 'Water Signs,' from 'Teaching My Spirit to Fly.' Image source:

Margarete Bagshaw, 'Clans of the Old World.' Image source:

Margarete Bagshaw, 'Keeping Something Safe.' Image source:

Margarete Bagshaw, 'Of the Grid.' Image source:

Margarete Bagshaw, 'Mandala.' Image source:

Margarete Bagshaw, 'Clown Magic.' Image source:

Margarete Bagshaw, 'Composition 11.' Image source:

Margarete Bagshaw, 'Rain Council.' Image source:

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