Aways in Relation: artworks from the Schultz collection opened May 12, 2023 and continue through October 21, 2023. This exhibition features more than a hundred works including jewelry, 2D art, vessels and objects from the Estate of Ruth and Sidney Schultz.
Moving to New Mexico in the 1950s, Sidney (1921-2022) and Ruth (1923-2019) Schultz became passionate and prodigious accumulators of Indigenous North American art. Teenage sweethearts, the couple left their mark on the Southwest arts community in multiple ways. Sid was an orthopedic surgeon who performed one of the first total hip replacements in New Mexico and offered his services in exchange for artworks. Ruth was active in devising the Standards for SWAIA, a donor and Board member to the Wheelwright Museum and the Albuquerque Museum.
Always in Relation explores the beginnings of the Schultz’s relationship with the Southwest, a relationship forged for Ruth through a love of jewelry, in particular the jewelry of Kenneth Begay. The exhibit charts the Schultz’s growing appreciation for Indigenous arts, their deep relationships with artists, and how this growing passion was part of their dedication to the area. Eschewing the formal definition of themselves as “collectors,” Sid and Ruth built strong and lasting relationships with artists over more than 70 years.
Always in Relation combines art, interviews and archives. However, the exhibition is not the conclusion of this story. Instead, it serves a stimulus to increased research and conversation. This exhibit is co-curated by Wheelwright Executive Director Henrietta Lidchi, Gail Bird (Santo Domingo Pueblo/Laguna Pueblo) and Yazzie Johnson (Navajo). The Museum aims to gather more voices and perspectives through this significant collection. While some collections can be seen as an expression of taste and personal aesthetics, they are more importantly a map of mutual relationships developed over time. Works of art hold stories and memories; they always exist in relation.
Always in Relation features the work of artists both living and deceased including: Marcus Amerman (Choctaw), Kenneth Begay (Navajo), Shonto Begay (Navajo), Cippy Crazyhorse (Cochiti Pueblo), Teri Greeves (Kiowa), Ron Honyouti (Hopi), Darrell Jumbo (Navajo), Allen Kee (Navajo), Clarence Lee (Navajo) Charles Loloma (Hopi), Preston Monongye, 1927-1987 (Mission/Mexican), Johnny Pablo (Navajo), Norbert Peshlakai (Navajo), Leo Poblano (Zuni Pueblo), Sylvia Begay Radcliffe (Navajo), Kay Begay Rogers (Navajo), Liz Wallace (Navajo/Washo/Maidu), Wes Willie (Navajo), Denise Wallace (Chugach Sugpiaq) and Raymond Yazzie (Navajo) among many others.