Honoring Vidal Aragon, 1923-2015

February 02, 2015

We were saddened to hear the news of the passing of Vidal Aragon on January 5, 2015. Vidal was an exceptional artist and long-time friend of Four Winds Gallery.

Born in 1923 at Santo Domingo Pueblo, Vidal began his career in the 1930s studying jewelry making at the Santa Fe Indian School. Experimenting with traditional techniques such as tufa casting and lapidary work, he was already highly lauded for his artistry when he began innovating with his soon to be favored craft of silver overlay work. These pieces became famously known as “storyteller” designs.    

Without using pre-drawn sketches as his guide, his recognizable style features symbolism depicting scenes from traditional Pueblo life, incorporating animals, weather symbols and often a 14k gold sun or moon. 

A natural and charismatic storyteller himself, Vidal's ability to communicate transcended beyond spoken words and translated into jewelry in a way that has connected with countless wearers. In 1941, Vidal's work was featured in the New York Museum of Modern Art. His work has impacted and continues to impact generations of admirers. 

His unique humor and ability to translate stories of Pueblo life still resonates with people throughout the world.

Over the years, friends of Four Winds have made Vidal's storyteller rings their wedding bands, parents have purchased a bracelet for each of their children when they reach a certain age, and his symbols have even been used to create beautiful tattoos. Through his artistry, Vidal was able to share a glimpse of his beloved Santo Domingo Pueblo with the world, where his storyteller jewelry has become a part of individuals' everyday lives. Although he retired from jewelry making several years before his passing, his work will continue to encourage each wearer to create his or her own stories.

You Might Also Like