Native and Indigenous Art

Map of U.S. oil, collage and mixed media on canvas

Jaune Quick-To-See Smith, State Names, 2000, oil, collage and mixed media on canvas, 48 x 72 in. (121.9 x 182.9 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Elizabeth Ann Dugan and museum purchase, 2004.28

SAAM’s collection includes many remarkable artworks that reflect the profound and longstanding contributions of Native and Indigenous artists in the United States. SAAM is committed to collecting, contextualizing, and sharing art by Native makers as critical to American culture and identity. 

The museum’s permanent collection includes works by Raven Chacon (Diné), Kelly Church (Ottawa and Pottawatomi), Jeffrey Gibson (Mississippi Choctaw/Cherokee), Carla Hemlock (Kanienkeháka), Allan Houser (Chiricahua Apache), Kapulani Landgraf (Kanaka Maoli), Truman Lowe (Ho-Chunk), Maria Martinez (San Ildefonso Pueblo), George Morrison (Grand Portage Band of Chippewa), Virgil Ortiz (Cochiti Pueblo), Jaune Quick-to-See-Smith (Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation), Preston Singletary (Tlingit), Wendy Red Star (Apsáalooke (Crow), and Kay WalkingStick (Cherokee Nation), among others.  

 

Selected Works

Truman Lowe, Totem for Henu (First Daughter), 1985, pine and peeled willow, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase made through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment, 2022.9.3, © 2021, Truman Lowe Estate
Totem for Henu (First Daughter)
Date1985
pine and peeled willow
On view
Wendy Red Star, Catalogue Number 1948.102, from the series Accession, 2019, pigment print on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment, 2021.47.8, © 2019, Wendy Red Star
Catalogue Number 1948.102, from the series Accession
Date2019
pigment print on paper
Not on view
Kay WalkingStick, Orilla Verde at the Rio Grande, 2012, oil on wood panel, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment, 2021.30.3, © Kay Walkingstick, 2016
Orilla Verde at the Rio Grande
Date2012
oil on wood panel
On view
Kay WalkingStick, Two Women II, 1973, acrylic on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment, 2021.30.1, © Kay Walkingstick, 2017
Two Women II
Date1973
acrylic on canvas
On view
Jaune Quick-To-See Smith, State Names, 2000, oil, collage and mixed media on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Elizabeth Ann Dugan and museum purchase, 2004.28
State Names
Date2000
oil, collage and mixed media on canvas
Not on view
Jeffrey Gibson, Watchtower, 2018, polyester satin, printed chiffon, polyester organza, canvas, tin jingles, nylon fringe, assorted glass, plastic, and stone beads, acrylic mirrors, sheet acrylic, nylon thread, artificial sinew, tipi poles, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment, 2020.5.1, © 2019, Jeffrey Gibson
Watchtower
Date2018
polyester satin, printed chiffon, polyester organza, canvas, tin jingles, nylon fringe, assorted glass, plastic, and stone beads, acrylic mirrors, sheet acrylic, nylon thread, artificial sinew, tipi poles
On view
Jeffrey Gibson, WITHOUT YOU I'M NOTHING, 2018, polyester satin, neoprene, polyester, acrylic felt, canvas, acrylic paint, 
assorted glass, plastic, stone, and bone beads, brass grommets, acrylic yarn, batting, polyester laces, artificial sinew, and tipi poles
, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment, 2020.5.3, © 2019, Jeffrey Gibson
WITHOUT YOU I’M NOTHING
Date2018
polyester satin, neoprene, polyester, acrylic felt, canvas, acrylic paint, assorted glass, plastic, stone, and bone beads, brass grommets, acrylic yarn, batting, polyester laces, artificial sinew, and tipi poles
On view
Kapulani Landgraf, Kapukaulua, from the series Ponoiwi, 2011, hand-etched silver gelatin print, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Frank K. Ribelin Endowment, in partnership with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, 2022.46.5
Kapukaulua, from the series Ponoiwi
Date2011
hand-etched silver gelatin print
On view
Kapulani Landgraf, Puka mai, 2002, hand-woven silver gelatin collage, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Frank K. Ribelin Endowment, in partnership with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, 2022.46.1
Puka mai
Date2002
hand-woven silver gelatin collage
On view
Kevin Pourier, Valerie Pourier, Monarch Nation, 2019, carved bison horn, inlaid orange sandstone, white mother of pearl, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Kenneth R. Trapp Acquisition Fund, 2021.2, © 2019, Kevin Pourier
Monarch Nation
Date2019
carved bison horn, inlaid orange sandstone, white mother of pearl
Not on view
Katrina Mitten, Ten Original Clans of the Myaamia, 2016, wool felt with Czech seed beads, pony beads, brass thimbles, polyester tassels, satin ribbon, and cotton liner, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Kenneth R. Trapp Acquisition Fund, 2021.3, © 2016, Katrina Mitten
Ten Original Clans of the Myaamia
Date2016
wool felt with Czech seed beads, pony beads, brass thimbles, polyester tassels, satin ribbon, and cotton liner
On view
Virgil Ortiz, Pueblo Revolt 2180, 2018-2019, white bentonite clay with bee-weed (spinach) paint, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Kenneth R. Trapp Acquisition Fund, 2022.54, © 2016, Virgil Ortiz
Pueblo Revolt 2180
Date2018-2019
white bentonite clay with bee-weed (spinach) paint
Not on view
Kelly Church, Sustaining Traditions-Digital Memories, 2018, black ash, sweetgrass, rit, copper, vial EAB, flashdrive, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Decorative Arts and Crafts Endowment, 2020.49A-B, © 2018, Kelly Church
Sustaining Traditions-Digital Memories
Date2018
black ash, sweetgrass, rit, copper, vial EAB, flashdrive
Not on view
Jeremy Frey, Large Turquoise Urchin Basket, 2019, brown ash and sweetgrass, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Kenneth R. Trapp Acquisition Fund, 2020.55, © 2019, Jeremy Frey
Large Turquoise Urchin Basket
Date2019
brown ash and sweetgrass
On view
Jane Osti, Tall squash pot, 2020, clay, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Richard T. Evans Fund, 2020.63, © 2020, Jane Osti
Tall squash pot
Date2020
clay
On view
Preston Singletary, Safe Journey, 2021, cast and sand-carved glass on wooden pedestal, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the James Renwick Alliance in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Renwick Gallery and the 40th anniversary of the alliance, and museum purchase through the Kenneth R. Trapp Acquisition Fund, 2021.82A-C, © 2021, Preston Singletary
Safe Journey
Date2021
cast and sand-carved glass on wooden pedestal
On view
Katrina Mitten, MMIW, 2020, cotton fabric, ribbon, Czech seed beads, bone, shell, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Kenneth R. Trapp Acquisition Fund, 2020.29.1, © 4/2020, Katrina Mitten
MMIW
Date2020
cotton fabric, ribbon, Czech seed beads, bone, shell
On view
Marlana Thompson, Ononkwashon: a/Medicine Plants, 2020, black velveteen, red flannel, Czech seed beads, sweetgrass, sage, and leather, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Kenneth R. Trapp Acquisition Fund, 2020.29.3, © April 28, 2020, Marlana Thompson
Ononkwashon: a/​Medicine Plants
Date2020
black velveteen, red flannel, Czech seed beads, sweetgrass, sage, and leather
On view
Vicki Lee Soboleff, Yellow Cedar Face Mask, 2020, yellow cedar and sinew, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Kenneth R. Trapp Acquisition Fund, 2020.29.2, © June 1, 2020, Vicki Soboleff
Yellow Cedar Face Mask
Date2020
yellow cedar and sinew
Not on view
Hubert Candelario, Perforated golden micaceous orb, 2020, micaceous clay, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Howard Kottler Endowment for Ceramic Art, 2020.65
Perforated golden micaceous orb
Date2020
micaceous clay
On view
Preston Singletary, Thunderbird & Hawk, 2011, glass, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Judy and Stuart Heller, 2021.56
Thunderbird & Hawk
Date2011
glass
Not on view
Carla Hemlock, Our Destruction, 2019, wool stroud cloth, wool, glass beads, crystals, sequins, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Kenneth R. Trapp Acquisition Fund, 2021.10, © 2020, Carla Goodleaf Hemlock
Our Destruction
Date2019
wool stroud cloth, wool, glass beads, crystals, sequins
On view
Joe Feddersen, Horses and Deer, 2020, glass, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Kenneth R. Trapp Acquisition Fund, 2021.34, © 2020, Joe Feddersen
Horses and Deer
Date2020
glass
Not on view
Shan Goshorn, Song of Sorrow, 2015, ink and acrylic paint on watercolor paper splints, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Kenneth R. Trapp Acquisition Fund, 2021.32, © 2021, Thomas Pendergraft
Song of Sorrow
Date2015
ink and acrylic paint on watercolor paper splints
Not on view
Sheila Kanieson Ransom, Pope Basket, 2021, sweetgrass and black ash splints with commercial dye, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase made possible by Frances Dubrowski and David Buente, 2021.79
Pope Basket
Date2021
sweetgrass and black ash splints with commercial dye
Not on view
Dawn Nichols Walden, Random Order XIII, 2006, cedar bark, cedar roots, bera grasses, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Robert and Sharon Buchanan, 2021.41.2
Random Order XIII
Date2006
cedar bark, cedar roots, bera grasses
Not on view
Marvin Oliver, Salish Clam Basket, 2008, glass, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Sharon Karmazin, 2021.28
Salish Clam Basket
Date2008
glass
On view
Harlan Reano, Lisa Holt, Untitled pot, 2021, natural clay with acrylic paint, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Howard Kottler Endowment for Ceramic Art, 2021.96
Untitled pot
Date2021
natural clay with acrylic paint
On view
Christine McHorse, Wolves Courting at Full Moon, 1988, fired micaceous clay with piñon pitch, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Chuck and Jan Rosenak and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson, 1997.124.161
Wolves Courting at Full Moon
Date1988
fired micaceous clay with piñon pitch
On view

Videos

Exhibitions

Artist Lily Hope with an ornamental headdress
Sharing Honors and Burdens: Renwick Invitational 2023
May 26, 2023March 31, 2024
Artists Joe Feddersen (Arrow Lakes/Okanagan), Lily Hope (Tlingit), Ursala Hudson (Tlingit), Erica Lord (Athabaskan/Iñupiat), Geo Neptune (Passamaquoddy), and Maggie Thompson (Fond du Lac Ojibwe) present a fresh and nuanced vision of Native American art.
Quilt featuring the portrait of a woman
This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World
May 13, 2022April 2, 2023
This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World showcases the dynamic landscape of American craft today.
An artwork with small details made of beads depicting nature.
Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists
February 21, 2020March 13, 2020
Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists is the first major thematic exhibition to explore the artistic achievements of Native women.

SAAM Stories

A person in a black and white checkered sweater stands holding headphones. They are also black and white, woven with an Indigenous motif and have long white fringe.
Go in-depth for a look at the themes of Sharing Honors and Burdens at the Renwick Gallery
Lara Evans
A tight crop of an illustration showing a girl with her hands on the face of a horse. She is smiling.
11/17/2022
Jaune Quick-To-See Smith (Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation) was born on the Flathead Indian Reservation in western Montana in 1940. Throughout her long and distinguished career she has used her art to powerfully express her support for Native American communities
Detail of a mixed media artwork using a flag and military blanket
Marie Watt honors veterans and Indigenous communities through simple objects that hold powerful stories
SAAM
Landscape of mountains with Native motifs overlayed.
Our video series American Art Moments takes a closer look at the artist's career through three paintings new to SAAM’s collection
Landscape of mountains with Native motifs overlayed.
A look at three paintings that represent three different decades of the artist’s vibrant career
A photograph of Melissa Ho by Jeff Elkins
Melissa Ho
Curator (20th-Century Art)
Fragment of a buffalo horn painted with orange butterflies on it.
Oglala Lakota artist Kevin Pourier creates art from buffalo horn, a material with a deep ancestral and cultural connection
A photograph of a woman with brown hair and a dress standing inside a building.
Mary Savig
Lloyd Herman Curator of Craft
A print of a woman's face with facial tattoos, against a printed background
Artist Melanie Cervantes explores indigeneity, identity, and activism in her printmaking practice
Headshot of woman with black hair
Rebekah Mejorado
Public Relations Specialist
A black and white photograph of a woman sitting behind two ceramic pots
Remembering the Navajo artist whose clay works pushed against conventions over her fifty-year career
A photograph of a woman holding a large basket in museum collection storage.
Anya Montiel
Curator of American and Native American Women’s Art and Craft
A photograph of a face mask
Anya Montiel on her work as Curator of American and Native American Women’s Art and Craft
Sara Cohen
A photograph of a woman wearing a face mask.
Adding functional and artistic masks to SAAM’s collection during COVID-19 projects artists’ messages of strength, resilience, and hope.
A photograph of a woman holding a large basket in museum collection storage.
Anya Montiel
Curator of American and Native American Women’s Art and Craft
An artwork of a figure with small figures climbing on it.
A closer look at three Native women artists in SAAM's collection
A photograph of a woman with blonde hair and glasses.
Karen Canova
Luce Foundation Center Volunteer
A colorful acrylic on canvas
02/14/2020
The groundbreaking exhibition at the Renwick features more than 80 works from antiquity to the present
Teri Greeves