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

Media - 2022.9.3 - SAAM-2022.9.3_1 - 146122
Totem for Henu (Totem for Eldest Daughter)
milled lumber, peeled willow
On view
Media - 2021.47.8 - SAAM-2021.47.8_1 - 146169
Catalogue Number 1948.102, from the series Accession
pigment print on paper
Not on view
Media - 2021.30.3 - SAAM-2021.30.3_1 - 142601
Orilla Verde at the Rio Grande
oil on wood panel
On view
Media - 2021.30.1 - SAAM-2021.30.1_1 - 142599
Two Women II
acrylic on canvas
On view
Media - 2004.28 - SAAM-2004.28_2 - 137738
State Names
oil, collage and mixed media on canvas
Not on view
Media - 2020.5.1 - SAAM-2020.5.1_3 - 146588
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
Media - 2020.5.3 - SAAM-2020.5.3_3 - 146596
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
Media - 2022.46.5 - SAAM-2022.46.5_1 - 147207
Kapukaulua, from the series Ponoiwi
hand-etched silver gelatin print
Not on view
Media - 2022.46.1 - SAAM-2022.46.1_1 - 147235
Puka mai
hand-woven silver gelatin collage
Not on view
Media - 2021.2 - SAAM-2021.2_4 - 143000
Monarch Nation
carved bison horn, inlaid orange sandstone, white mother of pearl
Not on view
Media - 2021.3 - SAAM-2021.3_1 - 143003
Ten Original Clans of the Myaamia
wool felt with Czech seed beads, pony beads, brass thimbles, polyester tassels, satin ribbon, and cotton liner
Not on view
Media - 2022.54 - SAAM-2022.54_1 - 146732
Pueblo Revolt 2180
white bentonite clay with bee-weed (spinach) paint
On view
Media - 2020.49A-B - SAAM-2020.49A-B_1 - 142597
Sustaining Traditions-Digital Memories
black ash, sweetgrass, rit, copper, vial EAB, flashdrive
Not on view
Media - 2020.55 - SAAM-2020.55_1 - 142475
Large Turquoise Urchin Basket
brown ash and sweetgrass
On view
Media - 2020.63 - SAAM-2020.63_1 - 143145
Tall squash pot
On view
Media - 2021.82A-C - SAAM-2021.82A-C_1 - 142811
Safe Journey
cast and sand-carved glass on wooden pedestal
On view
Media - 2020.29.1 - SAAM-2020.29.1_1 - 139239
cotton fabric, ribbon, Czech seed beads, bone, shell
On view
Media - 2020.29.3 - SAAM-2020.29.3_1 - 139243
Ononkwashon: a/​Medicine Plants
black velveteen, red flannel, Czech seed beads, sweetgrass, sage, and leather
On view
Media - 2020.29.2 - SAAM-2020.29.2_1 - 139242
Yellow Cedar Face Mask
yellow cedar and sinew
Not on view
Media - 2020.65 - SAAM-2020.65_1 - 143343
Perforated golden micaceous orb
micaceous clay
On view
Media - 2021.56 - SAAM-2021.56_1 - 143353
Thunderbird & Hawk
Not on view
Media - 2021.10 - SAAM-2021.10_1 - 142993
Our Destruction
wool stroud cloth, wool, glass beads, crystals, sequins
On view
Joe Feddersen, Horses and Deer, 2020, glass
Horses and Deer
Not on view
Media - 2021.32 - SAAM-2021.32_1 - 143148
Song of Sorrow
ink and acrylic paint on watercolor paper splints
Not on view
Media - 2021.79 - SAAM-2021.79_1 - 143070
Pope Basket
sweetgrass and black ash splints with commercial dye
Not on view
Media - 2021.41.2 - SAAM-2021.41.2_1 - 143004
Random Order XIII
cedar bark, cedar roots, bera grasses
Not on view
Media - 2021.28 - SAAM-2021.28_1 - 142999
Salish Clam Basket
On view
Media - 2021.96 - SAAM-2021.96_1 - 148106
Untitled pot
natural clay with acrylic paint
Not on view
Media - 1997.124.161 - SAAM-1997.124.161_1 - 62364
Wolves Courting at Full Moon
fired micaceous clay with piñon pitch
On view



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.
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
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
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 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
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 colorful acrylic on canvas
The groundbreaking exhibition at the Renwick features more than 80 works from antiquity to the present
Teri Greeves