Awa Tsireh, also known as Alfonso Roybal, was one of the first Pueblo painters to receive recognition by the Santa Fe art community. After seeing several examples of Awa Tsireh's work for sale in a souvenir shop in 1917, Alice Corbin Henderson sought out the artist and developed a great respect for his work and that of his peers. Awa Tsireh's success at selling his paintings, although few were sold for more than a dollar, encouraged other Pueblo artists to adapt their painting and design skills to the medium of watercolor paint on paper. In the 1920s Awa Tsireh received sponsorship from the School of American Research, then a branch of the Museum of New Mexico, so that he could paint full time. He was given studio space in the museum along with Fred Kabotie, a Hopi artist, and Velino Shije Herrera of the Zia community.