Press: Western Art Collector - Special Section: Pieces of the Past - Collecting Historic Native American Art - Feb 2014
Western Art Collector Special Section Article February 2014
PIECES OF THE PAST
Collecting Historic Native American Art
Historic Native American art is as diverse as the tribes and artisans who created it. From intricate weaving designs, detailed pottery, and complex baskets to storage jars and everything in between, these works created over thousands of years developed into several distinctive styles. These culturally rich works are not only beautiful but are infused with history and tell a story.
Today, collectors are finding numerous options when it comes to buying and selling historic Native American art. Major art shows like the Marin Show: Art of the Americas offer space to presenting fine antique works, while important auction houses across the country like Bonhams, Cowan’s Auctions, and Heritage Auctions dedicate yearly sales to the finest in historic American Indian art. When collections are re-discovered and offered is an exciting chance for a new generation of collectors.
Available works that are complete with provenance provide a snapshot of the era in which they are made. Collecting historic Native American art can be a lifelong pursuit of education, preservation, and imagination – and even a little bit of adventure – to unravel the stories inherent in these works. Galleries in Tucson, Scottsdale, Santa Fe, and even Los Angeles are finding that collectors are eager to purchase work that is new to the market. And, like most art, quality will always sell. Diversity in subject matter and style adds to the desirability of these historic works, and modern versatility makes these pieces captivating to viewers.
One of the wonderful things about historic Native American art is that it blends nicely in very traditional homes, but certain pieces blend very well with contemporary and modern homes. Whether it’s a Black Maria pot or a stark double saddle blanket, these accentuate contemporary homes with the simplicity of the design. You can still have the most traditional of Native American objects in a more Southwest traditional home.
The Native Americans of the Southwest have always intrigued, impressed and fascinated Steve Getzwiller and his wife Gail. For 40 years they have promoted Navajo weaving and provided collectors with some of the finest artworks the indigenous peoples of North America have ever created. Steve Getzwiller says he recently found two outstanding Apache and Pima basket collections. “Our selection of Navajo weavings is the strongest it has ever been,” he adds.
Getzwiller invites visitors to visit the gallery by emailing or calling to arrange a time. They will open the gate, contain the guard dogs and maybe even put the horses out to greet visitors, who will be stunned at the breathtaking views around the ranch house and by the Getzwiller’s impressive collection of artwork.