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The collection of Southwestern American Indian easel paintings consists of more than 1,300 works spanning the careers of hundreds of artists. The collection, among one of the earliest formed, is the largest and most comprehensive of its kind, and includes paintings by many of the significant Southwestern artists from the late nineteenth century up to the present. Included among its works are paintings from the self-taught Pueblo painters of the early 20th century, as well as the artists trained at the Santa Fe Indian School Studio with Dorothy Dunn beginning in the 1930s. It contains many of the initial masterpieces of this art tradition.

For more information on painting, you may want to visit the SAR Press to view or purchase publications such as:

Indian Painters of the SouthwestIndian Painters of the Southwest
2002. Katherine L. Chase; Foreward by Diane Reyna

The book profiles ten outstanding painters representing seven different Pueblo Indian groups and the Navajo Nation who participated in a convocation at the Indian Arts Research Center at the SAR. While some artists have chosen to depict traditional scenes and symbols and others have chosen to create modern works influenced by Euro-American painting, all draw on the “deep remembering” of tribal heritage and personal experience and a heightened awareness of the artist’s role in more than one modern world.

Painting the Underworld SkyPainting the Underworld Sky
2006. Mateo Romero, with a foreword by Suzan Shown Harjo

Painter Mateo Romero uses a bold, muscular style and thick, expressive paint to expose the fault lines and tragedies afflicting Native people today. At the same time, he offers a meditation on the difficult yet artistically stimulating process of cultural diaspora and return in which he and many other Native artists are engaged.

Pueblo Indian PaintingPueblo Indian Painting
1997. J. J. Brody

A new tradition of Pueblo fine art painting arose in the first three decades of the twentieth century, born out of a dynamic encounter between the Pueblo and Euro-American communities in and around Santa Fe, New Mexico.


“Primogeniture” Mateo Romero (Cochiti). Multimedia painting. 1997. SAR.2008-5-1. Photograph by Addison Doty.