In this col­umn we speak to lead­ing gal­leries, auc­tion houses and deal­ers to find out what’s hap­pen­ing in their world.

Native American Art - - CALENDAR - Steve El­more In­dian Art 839 Paseo de Per­alta, Suite M Santa Fe, NM 87501, (505) 995-9677 www.el­mor­ein­di­a­

The ex­pen­sive his­toric Pue­blo pot­tery mar­ket has re­mained soft since the re­ces­sion. Younger new col­lec­tors are more in­ter­ested in signed con­tem­po­rary pot­tery, which is of­ten less costly. Now is an ex­cel­lent time to ac­quire the old tra­di­tional jars. Be­cause of the huge range of di­ver­sity and cost of Na­tive Amer­i­can art, col­lec­tors come from all walks of life: teach­ers, con­struc­tion work­ers, even law en­force­ment, plus your usual pro­fes­sion­als like doc­tors, lawyers and en­trepreneurs.

Nam­peyo’s work con­tin­ues to be in de­mand as her rep­u­ta­tion rises. The Metropoli­tan Mu­seum of Art in New York has re­cently ac­quired pieces by her for the Amer­i­can wing, and I ex­pect other mu­se­ums to fol­low suit which should add to her stand­ing in Amer­i­can art. His­tory shows she was an early Amer­i­can mod­ernist, and that Na­tive Amer­i­can art was a ma­jor com­po­nent of the art world in the early decades of 1900.

Of course, I am bullish on the tra­di­tional Hopi pot­ters, many of whom are Nam­peyo de­scen­dants. Rachel Sah­mie of Po­lacca, Ari­zona, has cer­tainly raised her pro­file with her con­sis­tent hard work and high qual­ity of her tra­di­tional pot­tery. In gen­eral, the Na­tive Amer­i­can arts have re­mained steady through this rough patch in the economy. I think col­lec­tors will al­ways be in­ter­ested in good Na­tive art fore­most be­cause it’s Amer­i­can. It’s part of our his­tory. The con­cept of the fron­tier and the in­de­pen­dence of Na­tive Amer­i­cans in part of our Na­tional char­ac­ter now. As more re­search es­tab­lishes the proper place of Na­tive Amer­i­can art in Amer­ica’s his­tory, I think we will con­tinue to see Na­tive Amer­i­can art move in the main­stream.

Be­cause all art is uni­ver­sal in na­ture, I think the fu­ture of art will see more cross­over be­tween Na­tive Amer­i­can art and con­tem­po­rary An­glo artists. You can’t ex­pect artists not to be in­flu­enced by all of the Na­tive Amer­i­can art around them. Sim­i­larly, many Na­tive Amer­i­can artists have drawn in­spi­ra­tion from con­tem­po­rary An­glo artist. I think this mu­tual process of in­ter­ac­tion will con­tinue.

“Be­cause of the huge range of di­ver­sity and cost of Na­tive Amer­i­can art, col­lec­tors come from all walks of life.”

Steve El­more In­dian Art of­fers his­toric and con­tem­po­rary Na­tive pot­tery. © 2016 Daniel Quat Pho­tog­ra­phy


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