On view at the Roswell Museum and Art Center


Conversations: Artworks in Dialogue  | The Daniel E. Prall Collection

This exhibition highlights pieces from the collection of Daniel E. Prall, a dedicated volunteer and longtime supporter of the Wheelwright Museum. The collection includes 320 major Native American artworks, with emphasis on painting, drawing, pottery, and sculpture. Prall bequeathed the collection to the museum in 2017. Says Wheelwright Chief Curator Andrea R. Hanley (Navajo), “The exhibition reveals that most museums wouldn’t be here today without the great support of art collectors. Daniel E. Prall’s collection, archives, and specially detailed cataloged notes allowed the Wheelwright and now the public to see the collector process; meticulously driven by gut, creating long-standing friendships, and collecting in the moment. Thanks to Daniel E. Prall, and his enthusiastic love for contemporary Native arts; his bequest will continue to support Native art, artists, and the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian for generations to come.”

The selected objects provide a visual and intellectual narrative of themes in the larger Native American Fine Art Movement and range in date from the 1960s to 2017. They do not represent a specific style of work but reflect Prall’s personal interests and his friendships with many artists. Notes that he wrote on the backs of his catalog cards offer rich, in-depth narratives of his interactions with the artists, including detailed descriptions of conversations, meals, and the artworks he acquired. Examples of some of Prall’s most thoughtful comments are included in the exhibition. Following Prall’s wishes, his family helped place his collection in the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian and the Museum of International Folk Art.