The Studio School & Related Styles

Among the strengths of the May Collection, perhaps the most substantial is its representation of the indigenous cultures of the American Southwest.  Related to the historic pottery, basketry, and traditions of this diverse region, the contributions of the Studio School in the 20th century are also significant.  In 1928, Dorothy Dunn moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and soon began training indigenous artists in an effort to promote self-sufficient careers in the arts. From 1932 to 1962, when The Santa Fe Indian School’s programs merged into the Institute of American Indian Art, hundreds of young men and women received training to become commercially successful artists working in conventional styles. On its face, the goal of Dunn’s school was problematic and remains shot through with paternalistic and colonialist presumptions. Today, we understand how the careers of Allan Houser/Haozous (Chiricahua Apache), Julian Martinez (Tewa | San Ildefonso), Harrison Begay (Navajo), and Eva Mirabal (Tiwa|Taos) were influenced by that experience. The potential to build on this complex, emerging strength represents an exciting new dimension for research in the May Collection. 


John L. Begay, Navajo
Untitled, n.d. 
8 1/16 x 16 1/16 in. (20.5 x 40.8 cm)
Gift of Art and Susan Peinado (A2016-8-3)

Theodore Suina (Ku-Pe-Ru), Keres | Cochiti, born 1918
Eagle Dance, 1946
Opaque watercolor on paper
9 x 11 ½ in. (22.8 x 29.2 cm)
Gift of Art and Susan Peinado (A2016-1-10)

Traditional Navajo pattern in brightly colored sand John L. Begay; Image copyright of the artist
Two American Indians on horseback taking down a bison Allan Houser; Image copyright the artist's estate (©The Houser/Haozous Family, Chiinde LLC)

Allan Houser (Haozous), Chiricahua Apache, 1914-1994
Buffalo Hunt, 1938
Opaque tempera pigments on paper
20 x 24 in. (50.8 x 61 cm)
Purchased with funds from the David W. May Endowment (A2020-1-1)

Julian Martinez, Tewa | San Ildefonso, 1879-1943
Figure on Horseback, c. 1930
Opaque pigments on paper
11 3/8 x 14 1/8 in. (28.9 x 35.9 cm)
Anonymous Gift (A2020-3-1)

Eva Mirabal (Eah Ha Wa), Tiwa |Taos, 1920-1968
Buy War Bonds, 1942
Offset lithograph poster, uncut
38 x 24 in. (96.5 x 61 cm)
Anonymous Gift (A2020-2-1)