Native Southwestern Artists

Both the Navaho and Pueblo artists have gained wide recognition for their mastery of varied artistic media and their ability to capture the spiritual and religious perceptions of a people. Their art is not so much personal art as it is communal expression that teems with symbolic overtones and essences.

This exhibition features more than 60 prints and paintings that capture the mythos of the Navaho and Pueblo tribes. Viewed together, these prints constitute an arresting testimony to the rich diversity of work produced in and around Santa Fe since the pioneering work of Elizabeth De Huff and Dorothy Dunn after World War I. The works capture the importance that members of both tribes place upon natural phenomena, ceremonies, equestrian figures and mythical and exotic animals.

Featured in the show are four prints by Harrison Begay, probably the best known Native American painter. These prints confirm Begay's reputation as a keen observer who is able to capture the very essence of the horses, deer and birds that he depicts.

Of signal importance are Maude Oakes' renditions of Jeff King's interpretations of the Navaho legend, "Where the Two Came to Their Fathers," a primal drama that sustained the tribe for centuries.

Also featured are the works of many of the descendants of Crescincio Martinez, the first major Pueblo artist who died in the flu epidemic of 1918. Among his descendants are Richard Martinez, Awa Tsireh and Maguel Martinez, all of whom are represented in this exhibition.