The Daniel E. Prall Collection

Conversations: Artworks in Dialogue 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.

Artists represented in the exhibition include Margarete Bagshaw (Santa Clara Pueblo), David Bradley (Chippewa), T. C. Cannon (Kiowa/Caddo), Darren Vigil Gray (Jicarilla Apache/Kiowa Apache), Helen Hardin (Santa Clara Pueblo), Allan Houser (Chiricahua Apache), Linda Lomahaftewa (Hopi/Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma), Dan and Arlo Namingha (Hopi/Tewa), Diego Romero (Cochiti Pueblo), Pablita Velarde (Santa Clara Pueblo), Emmi Whitehorse (Navajo), and many others.

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 are rich, in-depth narratives of his interactions with them and include detailed descriptions of conversations, meals, and the artworks he acquired. Clearly, he valued those friends as highly as their art.

Dan Prall was a very private man, and most of his acquaintances did not realize the depth of his collection until after his passing. Although some of his favorite works by Native American, Spanish New Mexican, and other artists were displayed in his Santa Fe home of more than 25 years, many pieces were stored in cabinets, in closets, and under beds.

Following Prall’s wishes, his family helped place his collection in the Wheelwright Museum and the Museum of International Folk Art. The Wheelwright Museum would like to thank the Prall family for their generous assistance.  We are honored to have received Dan’s collection and associated archives.