Featuring the collection of Retha Walden Gambaro, as well as other private collections.
Acclaimed Native American artist Retha Walden Gambaro's spiritually inspired sculptures that bring tribal traditions and lore to life in stone and bronze will headline The Potomack Company's February auction.
An early champion of the National Museum of the American Indian, Gambaro was president of the Amerindian Circle at the Smithsonian Institution that launched funding for the museum at the Kennedy Center's "Night of the First Americans" gala in 1982 under the patronage of President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan.
The collection of Gambaro's art works at The Potomack Company spans her artistic career. Retha Walden Gambaro (1917-2013) was born in Indian Territory, Oklahoma, to a mother of Creek descent. Her own works and those of other Native Americans that filled her Stafford, Virginia, studio visibly represent Gambaro's passion for heritage and nature as well as her desire to elevate and support other Native American artists.
"I am most influenced by artists whose works speak of some spiritual experience - works which show the inspiration from which they come," wrote Gambaro. "May the Shadow of the Great Spirit fall upon the work of my hands reminding all of the continuity of life." Gambaro also acknowledged nature as an influence in her work. A fallen leaf that reminded her of the fleeting nature of life inspired her sculpture of a contemplative female called Acceptance.
Among Gambaro's sculptures at The Potomack Company are her Attitudes of Prayer series that display an array of spiritual emotions in amorphous and realistic human and animal forms, including Courage, "Facing life, calling forth your strength of mind and body," Faith, "Without faith, what else is there?," Family, "How great, how wondrous are the bonds," and Peace, "Sought by so many, destroyed by so few!"