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“Charles Loloma, 1984”, an extraordinary original

black-and-white photographic portrait of Hopi jewelry artist, Charles Loloma by Jack Welpott

ex: Charles and Georgia Loloma collection, Hotevilla and Phoenix, AZ

This is an extremely powerful portrayal of an extremely powerful artist by a perceptive and extremely talented photographer. The place where the photograph was taken is quite significant, it is Charles Loloma’s home and studio in the Hotevilla Village on the Hopi Third Mesa in northern Arizona. Loloma had sat for at least one other photograph by Welpott (shown below) that day seated in his living room directly in front of a large 1975 portrait of himself entitled “Stone Talker” by the prominent American painter, Paul Pletka (B. 1946) which had hung for many years in his studio above the fireplace. To see our website listing of this “Stone Talker” portrait, please click here. Having his own photographic portrait taken with another painted portrait of himself hanging directly behind him is a deliberately interesting and perfectly staged intentional presentation.

This is clearly how and where Charles Loloma wanted himself to be seen, in the place where his art was made and

where he lived, and this portrayal of him by Welpott is both extremely beautiful and very sensitively accomplished.

The Artist’s (and the photographer’s) gaze is direct and forthright, the strength of the man’s creativity and powerful persona is clearly evident to see.

Jack Welpott (1923-2007) was an important and highly-accomplished American photographer. Based in San Francisco,

he was a respected contemporary and colleague of Ansel Adams, Brett Weston, Ruth Bernhard and Dorothea Lange and he was a highly-respected pioneer in teaching photography which he did for 32 years at San Francisco State University.

At left, another photograh of Charles Loloma taken by Jack Welpott in the Loloma studio and home on the same day in 1984. Loloma is wearing the same clothes

and glasses as in the portrait photograph and he is seated in front of the 1975 Paul Pletka portrait of himself, “Stone Talker." At right, photographer Jack Welpott.

Left photo source and © Santa Fe Art Auction, photo by Jack Welpott, 1984. Right photo source and © Masters of Photography

The former Charles Loloma home and studio in Hotevilla Village,

Third Mesa, Hopi where this portrait photograph was taken in 1984.

The beautiful black and white photograph is a masterfully-printed silver gelatin print, the printing medium Jack Welpott most frequently worked in. The sight size of the photograph itself is 11 1/2" in height by 9 1/2" width. The photograph

is beautifully and archivally matted and framed in a lovely light beveled maple wood frame by Goldleaf Framemakers of Santa Fe, NM, Santa Fe’s premier fine art framers. It is also archivally framed under UV light-resistant "Museum" conservation glass. The framed dimensions of the piece are 19 1/2" height by 17 1/4" width. The photograph is in completely excellent original condition and it is properly signed and dated "Jack Welpott ’84" at the lower right and titled "Charles Loloma" at the lower left and it is also signed "Jack Welpott, 1984" again on the back of the print.

The provenance of this piece could not possibly be more perfect and desirable, the photograph comes directly from

the personal collection of Charles Loloma and his wife Georgia Voisard Loloma. It is essentially Charles Loloma’s own personal photograph of Charles Loloma, clearly a piece which he valued very much. We do not know whether any other prints of the photograph exist or if this is the only one. Loloma kept this photograph from 1984 when it was taken until his untimely death in 1991 at which point it passed by descent to his wife Georgia Voisard Loloma who kept it

until her death in 2021 after which we acquired the photograph from her estate.

This is an extraordinary photographic portrait of an extraordinary artist by an extraordinary photographer,

equally a unique documentary piece of history and an exceptional piece of fine art, the great artist essentially

becoming a piece of great art himself.