A painting of a group of people dancing in red garments.


The Painting Collection

The Heard’s painting collection consists of works by American Indian artists. The Heard has received important gifts of collections that include works from the early 1900s, the beginning of the American Indian Fine Art Movement. In the 1960s, the museum began its presentation and collection of work by contemporary artists. Purchases from a series of single-artist exhibitions and a series of invitational exhibitions that included artists from the U.S. and Canada greatly enhanced the painting collection. These paintings were added to the existing collection of traditional painting from Southwest and Oklahoma artists.

A painting of deer in a forest with yellow aspen trees.
Pablita Velarde, Santa Clara Pueblo, 1918-2006, Deer and Aspens, 1955. Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Oscar Thoeny, IAC299

Painting Collection Highlights

  • A painting of a coyote wearing a leather jacket with chains and jeans in front of a red brick wall.
    Harry Fonseca, Nisenan/Hawaiian/Portuguese, 1946-2006, When Coyote Leaves the Rez, 1980. Heard Museum purchase, IAC1412 ©2016 Harry Fonseca Collection, Autry Museum of the American West
  • A painting of a group of people riding horses on a beige background.
    Awa Tsireh, San Ildefonso Pueblo, 1898-1955, Three Ponies, 1920s. Gift of Norman L. Sandfield, 4937-15.
  • A painting of a group of Native American dancers on a beige background.
    Fred Kabotie (Hopi), 1900-1986, Butterfly (Water Drinking) Dance, 1925. Watercolor on paper, 12 x 21 inches. Heard Museum Collection, IAC26.
  • A painting of Native people in front of tepees.
    Ernest Spybuck, Shawnee, 1883-1949, Shawnee Indian War Dance, 1930s. Heard Museum purchase, IAC2269.
  • A painting of a group of people dancing in red robes.
    Oscar Howe (Yanktonai), 1915-1983, Ghost Dance, 1960. Watercolor on paper, 25 x 30 1/2 inches. Gift of Edward Jacobson, IAC85.
  • An abstract drawing of geometric shapes with tiny dots.
    George Morrison, Ojibwa, 1919-2000 , The White Painting, 1971. Gift of Dayton-Hudson Co./Diamond’s, IAC452.
  • A red painting with a cross on it.
    Kay WalkingStick, Cherokee, b. 1935, Cardinal Points, 1985. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Albion P. Fenderson, 3505-1.
  • An abstract painting hanging on a wall.
    Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation, b. 1940, Rain, 1990. Purchased with funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Goldsmith Foundation, IAC2394.
  • A painting of two people sitting in the back of a truck.
    Shonto Begay, Navajo, b. 1954, Moab Bound, 2011. Gift of American Indian Art Magazine, 4682-1.
  • A painting of mountains and the Grand Canyon with rain pouring down from blue and white clouds.
    Tony Abeyta, Navajo, b. 1965, Grand Canyon, 2016. Gift of Drs. William G. and Kathleen L. Howard, 4878-1.
  • A painting of a coyote sitting in a blue chair.
    Steven J. Yazzie, Diné/Laguna Pueblo, b. 1970, The Protector, 2021. Gift of Drs. William G. and Kathleen L. Howard, 4988-1.
  • A colorful artwork depicting a group of protesting people.
    Michael Kabotie, Hopi, 1942-2009, Deer Dancers Protestors, 1972. Heard Museum purchase, IAC457.