May I see the director, assistant director, curator, or other staff person?

The Wheelwright Museum operates with a very small staff. Appointments are absolutely necessary. When calling for an appointment please explain the reason for your visit. We can often answer your questions over the phone or via e-mail.

 

What can you tell me about my textile, pot, painting, etc?

The Wheelwright does not offer identifications, authentications, opinions, or appraisals. Many published sources can help you learn more about your artwork. Websites for auction houses or online auctions can help you learn about value, and several online sources can help you find an appraiser.

 

I am a Native American artist. Can I get an exhibition at the Wheelwright?

While we are known for solo exhibitions by living artists, our shows are planned far in advance. We focus heavily on local artists, and usually have a waiting list of people with whom we want to develop exhibitions. We are happy to receive your exhibition announcements, press packets, digital images, or links, but we cannot promise to respond quickly, and we cannot make appointments to review portfolios in person.

 

Would the Wheelwright buy my artwork or collection?

Like most museums, the Wheelwright Museum’s acquisition funds are extremely limited. In addition, our collecting focus is quite narrow: Navajo, Rio Grande Pueblo, and other Native peoples of New Mexico. We do not collect Pueblo pottery, except for figurative works from Cochiti Pueblo. We are primarily interested in important examples of jewelry, other metalwork, and textiles. You may send a photograph of your object(s), with a letter telling us about it (including information about how you acquired it) to Curator, Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, P.O. Box 5153, Santa Fe, NM 87502 or to curator@wheelwright.org. We cannot review objects in person except by appointment.

 

How can I do research at the Wheelwright?

In Summer 2015 the Wheelwright Museum is scheduled to open the Center for the Study of Southwestern Jewelry, the first permanent exhibition in the museum’s 77 year history, and the first major museum installation devoted permanently to Native American jewelry, metalwork, lapidary, and related traditions. During the planning and development of the new gallery, the Wheelwright’s collections will be in constant use by staff, consultants, conservators, designers, and preparators. Because of the magnitude of this project, collections are closed to research until further notice.

 

May I see Hastiin Klah’s textiles?

The Wheelwright Museum houses collections of sandpainting textiles by Hastiin Klah, as well as other materials containing ceremonial and religious imagery. These are considered culturally sensitive by the Navajo Tribe. Access to most of these objects is restricted to traditional Navajo practitioners. Serious scholars may contact the Historic Preservation Department of the Navajo Tribe for clearance to study sensitive materials. As with other research, these items may be viewed by appointment only.