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1990 Eluid Levi Martinez Born: Cordova, New Mexico 1944 carved and painted aspen and cedar 21 x 14 1/4 x 16 5/8 in. (53.4 x 36.2 x 42.3 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the artist 1991.98 Not currently on view

Luce Center Quote

"In about 1981 . . . I decided to do a Tree of Life . . . [but] I didn't know how to finish the tree. I suddenly had the idea of cutting it off and putting the apple on top. It might have been a once in a lifetime thought." Eluid Levi Martinez, Southwest Profile, April 1989

Luce Center Label

Eluid Levi Martinez produced many versions of the temptation in the Garden of Eden. He plays with scale in his pieces, making objects bigger according to their importance in the story. In this piece the devil and the tree of life loom over the other trees, but the apple is the largest of all the elements because it symbolizes the desire and temptation that led to man's downfall.


Object - fruit - apple

Religion - Satan

State of being - evil - temptation


folk art

wood - aspen

wood - cedar