Modrall Sperling Law Firm

Dorothy Brett

One of the more colorful personalities of the Taos of the thirties was a woman with quaint English manners, a grounding from London’s Slade School of Art, and an ear trumpet.

Very much the iconoclast in her art, Brett was enthralled by the Indian ceremonials of Taos Pueblo and devised a unique linear style of painting that made her subjects at once plain and naive as well as spiritual and cosmic. The first illustration in V. Deren Coke’s still unsurpassed treatment of Taos and Santa Fe: The Artist’s Environment: 1882-1942, is Brett’s “Women’s Dance,” an oil from 1952. The law firm’s collection’s “Five Female Indian Dancers” shows a facing view of these figures, open palms raised in front of the body, from the same ceremony in what may be a detail of the larger painting.