Waldo (Walter) Mootzka was born in 1910 at Oraibi, Arizona where he attended Oraibi Day School. There he would often watch painter Fred Kabotie at work.
This Hopi artist studied at the Santa Fe Indian School under Dorothy Dunn in the early 1930s. Mootzka was influenced by Kabotie and other traditional Hopi painters, but also experimented with a variety of styles and mediums. He died in Phoenix, Arizona as a result of an automobile accident in 1940.
Waldo Mootzka's work can be seen in the collections at the Museum of the American Indian in New York; the Gilcrease Institute and the Philbrook Art Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma; the Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona; the Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff, Arizona; the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, Santa Fe, New Mexico; and the Southwest Museum, Los Angeles, California.
Waldo Mootzka is cited in Southwest Indian Painting by Tanner, American Indian Painting by Dunn, the Pueblo Indian Painting by Brody, When the Rainbow Touches Down by Seymour, American Indian Painters A Biographical Directory by Snodgrass and the Biographical Directory of American Indian Painters by Lester.
Waldo Mootzka's work was included in the exhibit "Beautiful Resistance: Works on Paper from the Heard Museum Collection" May 22 - December, 2005.