Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian continued its 70th anniversary celebration with Native American Modern, 1960 to the Present, an exciting exhibition of recently acquired modern and contemporary Native American art. The exhibition featured more than 300 objects that represent the strengths of the Wheelwright’s permanent collection, and which illuminate the museum’s unique focus.

Highlights include incredible jewelry by innovators such as Charles Loloma, Preston Monongye, Yazzie Johnson and Gail Bird, McKee Platero, and Liz Wallace; Navajo baskets by Sally Black, Agnes Gray, and Elsie Holiday; figurines by Cochiti potters Josephine Arquero, Damacia Cordero, and Seferina Ortiz; and Navajo folk art by Mamie Deschillie, Johnson Antonio, Sadie Begay, and Delbert Buck.

In addition, the exhibition featured contemporary artists with whom the Wheelwright has presented one-person shows. These include Tony Abeyta, Clifford Beck, Darren Vigil Gray, Harry Fonseca, Benjamin Harjo, Jr., Pablita Velarde, and Emmi Whitehorse.

The Wheelwright is renowned for solo shows by living Native American artists, and for the scholarly treatment of unique historical subjects that have been traditionally overlooked by other institutions. For these exhibitions, the museum borrows hundreds of objects from private collectors, museums and libraries throughout the United States. Native American Modern, 1960 to the Present is unusual in that it consists entirely of the Wheelwright Museum’s permanent collection. All objects in the exhibition have been collected by the museum over the past decade.

Harry Fonseca.
Benjamin Harjo, Jr. (Seminole/Shawnee). When Butterflies Could Sing, 1996. Gouache. Height 27” x width 39”. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Don Hazlett
Charles Loloma (Hopi). Tufa-cast, forged, and fabricated silver ladle, ca. 1956. Height 8”. Gift of Susan McGreevy
Josephine Arquero (Cochiti). Ceramic lamb, ca. 1995. Height 6”. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Gifford Phillips
Liz Wallace (Navajo/Maidu/Washoe). Pet’ su-melli (Wild Rose) Tiara, 2006. Plique-à-jour enamel, 18-karat gold, and sterling silver. Height 3”. Wheelwright Museum purchase
Sally Black (Navajo). Basketry plaque with Navajo men, women, and animals, ca. 1990. Sumac and commercial dyes. Diameter 22”. Gift of Eileen A. Wells
Johnson Antonio (Navajo). Three Carved and painted wood figures, ca. 1990. Tallest figure is 18” High. Gift of Charlotte and Tom Mittler
McKee Platero (Navajo). Power Man on His Motorbike, ca. 1990. Sterling silver, turquoise, coral. Height 5 ”. Anonymous donation