This sensitive portrayal of three Navajo women has an insider's touch. Mr. Beck most likely knew the sitters well and respected their contributions as weavers.
The eldest woman, I am told by a family friend, was Mr. Beck's mother.
(1946-1995) Clifford Beck, Jr. was born in 1946 at Keams Canyon, on the Navajo Nation in northeastern Arizona. His mother is a weaver and his father served on the Navajo Nation council for over twenty years. Beck attended high school in Flagstaff. Awarded a four-year Navajo Tribe Scholarship, he earned a BFA from the California College of Arts in 1968. Returning to Arizona, he studied for a year at Northern Arizona University.
Beck taught at Navajo Community College (now Dine College) and was the art department director at Many Farms High School, both located on the Navajo Nation. Beck began devoting himself full-time to fine art in 1979. Working primarily in oil and pastel, he is known for his detailed figures and portraits of Native Americans, which emerge from loosely rendered backgrounds.
His work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution, the Heard Museum, the Museum of Northern Arizona, the Santa Fe Indian Market, just to name a few. His work has been featured in Southwest Art magazine, American Indian Art magazine and The Indian Trader. Clifford Beck, Jr. died in 1995 in Scottsdale, Arizona.