Tattooed Woman

Roxanne Swentzell, Kha'p'o Owingeh (Santa Clara Pueblo) / American, born 1962
Santa Clara Pueblo (Kha P'o)



Original clay

Overall: 43 1/2 × 17 1/2 × 11 15/16 in. (110.5 × 44.4 × 30.4 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Purchased through the Virginia and Preston T. Kelsey 1958 Fund and the Robert J. Strasenburgh II 1942 Fund

© Roxanne Swentzell



Place Made: Santa Clara Pueblo, United States, North America


20th century

Object Name


Research Area

Native American

Native American: Southwest


Not on view


Tattooed Woman follows in the tradition of Roxanne Swentzell’s figurative sculptures, perhaps most identifiable by their exaggerated extremities—with noticeably larger hands and feet—which she sees as expressive parts of the body. The woman’s posture is open while her eyes remain closed, suggesting the concentrated receiving and retention of knowledge. The tattoos along her body serve as visible markers of accumulated understanding and experiences. While Swentzell’s figures appear sturdy and solid, they are in fact hollow, opening the possibility for this piece to be considered a vessel, something that holds memory.

"I think of this woman as existing in a spiritual reality signified by her tattoos in which her senses have been heightened. She is aware of more than what can be seen or felt. Her presence is a source of this "other" sense that we don’t always allow ourselves to acknowledge. May she help to remember" -- Roxanne Swentzell

From the 2021 exhibition Form & Relation: Contemporary Native Ceramics, curated by Jami C. Powell, Curator of Indigenous Art and Morgan E. Freeman, DAMLI Native American Art Fellow

Course History

NAS 30.21, Native American Art and Material, Jami Powell, Spring 2020

ANTH 11/NAS 11, Ancient Native Americans, Madeleine McLeester, Fall 2020

PORT 8, Brazilian Portraits, Carlos Cortez Minchillo, Winter 2021

LACS 22.11, Latinx Intergenerational Literature, Marcela di Blasi, Spring 2021

SART 16.01, Sculpture I, Matt Seigle, Winter 2022

PORT 8, Brazilian Portraits, Carlos Cortez-Minchillo, Winter 2022

ANTH 3.01, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, Sienna Craig, Winter 2022

ANTH 74, The Human Spectrum, Nate Dominy, Spring 2022

Exhibition History

Form & Relation: Contemporary Native Ceramics, Citrin Family, Engles Family, and Harteveldt Family Galleries, and Luise and Morton Kaish Gallery Stair, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 6, 2021–July 23, 2022.

Stories Without Borders: Personal Naratives in Clay, 74th Annual Ceramic Show, Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, Scripps College, Clarement, California, January 20, 2018 - April 8, 2018

Publication History

Ceramic Annual 2018: Scripps College 74th Ceramic Exhibition, Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, Scripps College, Claremont, California, p. 19


Rosanne Swentzell Tower Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico; sold to present collection, 2019.

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