Category Archives: Collector’s Corner

THESE THREE: Selecting Works from the 2015 Cape Dorset Print Collection

The most exciting time of year for collectors of Inuit prints is the October release of the Annual Cape Dorset Print Collection, consisting of over thirty works.  Since prints are produced in editions of fifty each, with the rare exception of one or two prints with a run of one hundred, anticipation is high among […]

CLEO, LIZ, SARAH AND ME: The Genesis of a Commissioned Work of Art

Most people would never connect a 1960s Hollywood movie about an ancient Egyptian queen, staring Elizabeth Taylor, with a Native artist and an Italian-American collector and expect the combination to result in a wok of art.  They would be surprised to learn that this very mixture produced Elizabeth as Cleopatra by Sarah Sense. I was […]

COMMITTED: The Brooklyn Museum’s Dedication to Showcasing the Indigenous Arts of the Americas

One of the earliest catalysts of my passion for Native art was the Brooklyn Museum.  It was there, in the early 1980s, that I first saw the pottery of Lucy Lewis, an event that set me on a journey of over thirty years collecting ceramic art created by Native artists.  That experience was also the […]

FERTILE MINDS: Susan Folwell and Les Namingha’s Corn Maiden Series

Drawing from a seemingly endless well of creativity, Susan Folwell and Les Namingha are two of the most exciting and innovative contemporary American artists.  Their predominant medium is ceramics, which they use much like a painter employs canvas or a sculptor stone or wood.  Folwell is constantly pushing this art form in new directions – […]

MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR: The Art of Sonya Kelliher-Combs

Whenever I am confronted by the work of Sonya Kelliher-Combs I feel as if I’m on an artistic magical mystery tour.  I never know where I am being taken but the journey is always thrilling, filled with revelations, secrets, metaphors, portraits and original ideas.  Through her idiosyncratic imagery and use of unusual materials in unique […]

HELLO DOLLIES: Collecting Native Dolls

They have been called “miniatures,” “small spirits,” and “cultural microcosms” but, with few exceptions, dolls are first and foremost a child’s earliest and best friend.  Being a male collector, I never really thought much about acquiring Native dolls but somehow they made their way into my collection and into my heart.  It was certainly not […]

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT: The Graphic Art of Janet Kigusiuq

When I first encountered Inuit art I knew nothing about it but the more I saw the more intrigued I became.  Visits to Vancouver and Toronto fueled my curiosity.  With a little research, I discovered that the Arctic Artistry Gallery which specialized in Inuit art was only about two miles from where I lived.  Over […]


As a collector, I can say in all honesty that I never know what type of art will attract my attention.  Lately, I am mostly drawn to abstract works rather than those that are representational.  When the 2014 Cape Dorset Annual Print Collection was released (the highpoint of the year for collectors of Inuit prints) […]

FUTUREWORLD: Five Young Ceramic Artists of Note

Collecting is a learning process, or it should be, in my opinion.  In order to remain relevant, collectors and collections must continually evolve.  Although, over the years, I have acquired many different types of Native art, I began with pottery and, though I am fast running out of space, I still can never resist an […]

NEW, NOW, NATIVE: A Collector’s Pick of Contemporary Native Artists

More than ever before Native artists are challenging ideas of what it means to be both Native and an artist.  They are expanding Native art beyond traditional boundaries and refusing to be confined by anyone else’s notions of what their art should or should not be.  Nothing, be it themes, materials, or forms, is off […]


Each year scores of tourists are drawn to Alaska’s Pribilof Islands by the prospect of seeing millions of animals in their natural habitat.  Most, however, are totally unaware that the “Galápagos of the North” was once the site of a shocking human tragedy that lasted more than 200 years.             The history of the Unungan, […]

COURTING CONTROVERSY: Napachie Pootoogooks Most Provocative Drawings

Late in her life, Inuit artist Napachie Pootogook began to create a series of drawings documenting life as it was once lived by her people, thereby creating a body of work the likes of which had not been seen before.  At the time Napachie produced these works, what collectors, curators and the general public wanted […]

BACK TO THE FUTURE: IAIA Student Artists of Note – Part 2

As a former teacher, I tend to view all educational institutions with a critical eye and, it would be fair to say that, it takes a great deal to impress me.  It seems that there is often so much cant where education is concerned.  However, a school that clearly fosters learning, artistic talent and a […]

BACK TO THE FUTURE: IAIA Student Artists of Note – Part 1

          Sometimes in order to go forward it is necessary to go backward.  This is especially true for artists who, for inspiration, often turn to earlier artistic forms, such as ledger art, or to a time in life that was particularly painful or fraught with struggles.  In addition, contemporary Native American […]

SMOKE SCREENS: The Uneasy Relationship Between Native Americans and the Movies

For well over a century, images of Native Americans have been flashed across movie screens worldwide.  The tales of “wild Indians” and “noble savages” that audiences devoured as emblematic of the American West were illusions on more than one level.  For the most part, the stories have been fictitious but, even when based on fact, […]

PAPER TIGERS: Another Look at Native American Works on Paper

In the minds of many, Native American artists are inexorably linked with what has come to be known as the “traditional arts” – pottery, baskets, beadwork and such.  However, while many contemporary Native artists still work in these media, more often than not, they execute their art in decidedly modernist ways.  Other contemporary Native artists […]

A PETROGLYPH PRIMER: Deer Valley Rock Art Center

When most people think of Native American art I doubt petroglyphs or other forms of rock art come to mind.  However, these ancient markings are important to understanding much of the Native art that followed, including that produced in the contemporary era.  Rock art is mysterious, mystical and mesmerizing.  What makes it so fascinating is […]

ADVENTURES IN COLLECTING: Facing the Challenges of Acquisition

Acquiring art for my collection has been an enjoyable process, except for figuring out how to pay for it.  Usually, that has been solved with payment plans.  In almost thirty years of collecting I’ve purchased pieces for my collection from shops, galleries, trading posts and directly from artists.  Often, art was collected while traveling and, […]

NOW YOU SEE IT, NOW YOU DON’T: Collecting and Provenance

          Whenever I lecture about Native art I always explain that as a collector sometimes one is given a great deal of information, sometimes just a little, sometimes none and, in some cases, misinformation.  As a beginning collector, I was so delighted to acquire a piece I liked that it never really […]

RE-SEEING THE WEST: Collecting Ledger Drawings

February, 2014 The American West is instantly recognizable to people around the world because, for generations, it has been portrayed in countless works of art.  Paintings, novels, plays, operas and, most recently, movies and TV have presented it as a wild and violent place.  However, over the last century the West has been seen through […]