LaVerne Nelson Black’s interest in painting Indian subjects emerged during his childhood in the Kickapoo River Valley area of Wisconsin, a region rich with the influence of Native American culture. After his family moved to Chicago, Black was able to study at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts from 1906 to 1908. Eventually, due to failing health, Black and his family moved to Taos around 1925. It was there that he did his best work. His bold blocks of color and warm hues were used to convey the essence of the Southwest.