the most popular genre of Navajo art is "folk art",
which currently appears in significant numbers
colorful representation of Navajo culture and of the domestic
and exotic animals of the world has it own charm and humor. From
chickens to pigs to zebras and hippos, it is almost impossible
to hold or look at these works without generating a smile and
special respect for the carver.
the more popular of these artists are
Les Herbert, Edith John. Marvin Jim and Matthew Yellowman.
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The Navajo, who refer to themselves as Dine’ or "the people," have
a long tradition of artistic excellence. In the 19th century, Navajo
weavers were prolific producers of intricately woven blankets. Prime
examples of these hang in museums and private collections and sell
for tens of thousands of dollars when they come up in auctions. Around
the turn of the century, production shifted primarily to rugs woven
on the same principle, using a vertical loom of fixed dimensions.
There are no written plans as beautiful, symmetrical designs emanate
from the imagination and skill of the weaver, weft-by-weft
Pottery Navajo pottery historically has been more utilitarian in style
and construction than the pottery of nearby pueblos. In recent decades,
however, more artistic work has emerged and the collection of Navajo
art pottery has soared. Potters such as Alice Cling, Suzie Crank and
Lorraine Williams are producing extraordinarily beautiful pieces,
well-formed, well-polished and impressive in style and shape. For
more examples of Native American pottery, visit our sister site at
- Susie Crank
Sculpture by Navajo artists also has established itself as world-class
Subjects in alabaster and other native stones take their inspiration
from Navajo legends and the individual vision of outstanding sculptors.
Another area of Navajo art concerns the traditional ceremonial sand
paintings. These designs , when used in various healing ceremonies,
provide a spiritual bridge to the other world where harmony reigns.
The market is filled with second rate sand paintings that are sold at
low cost as clocks, jewelry boxes and inexpensive décor. At the other
end of the quality spectrum, extraordinarily detailed sand paintings,
employing authentic designs (missing elements not intended for outside
exposure), are created by artists of incredible talent. Among these,
Hostein Etsitty is a standout. .
of all these art forms are shown in this special Navajo section. Additional
examples also in the gallery’s inventory are not shown here but will
be provided upon request.