Native American Art

Native American Art

Montclair Art Museum was founded in 1914 as a public art institution with a significant collection of both historical and contemporary Native work from across North America. The collection remains one of the foremost and dynamic collections of Native art in the Northeast, with new works added regularly.

MAM’s founding collection of Indigenous art was organized by three women in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: Museum co-founder Florence Rand Lang and her mother Annie Valentine Rand, chiefly through Pasadena-based dealer Grace Nicholson. The Museum has continued to collect the work of contemporary Native artists throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and exhibitions have integrated works from our two collections since 1995. Today, the range of Indigenous art and cultural objects at MAM comprises more than 4,000 pieces: one-third of the Museum’s total collection.

The collection’s strengths remain in works made by Native women. Collection highlights include basketry and regalia, particularly from California; Plains beadwork; paintings and works on paper; carved ivories from the Bering Sea region; Seminole and Muscogee dress; Navajo jewelry; and Pueblo pottery.

Notable Names in the Collection

Many historical objects in MAM's Native art collection have been attributed to specific artists, but names do not accompany a great number of pieces due to past collecting and documentation practices in the context of settler-colonialism. We actively work to recover names associated with particular works. Furthermore, many objects in the Native art collection were conceived and made collaboratively, not by a single creator.


Historical Artists

Mary Kawennatakie
Harrison Begay
William Benson
Thomas J. Dorsey
Harry Fonseca
Shan Goshorn
Raven Halfmoon

Velino Shije Herrera
   [Ma Pe Wi]
Elizabeth Hickox
Allan Houser
Oscar Howe



Julia Jumbo
Fred Kabotie
Truman Lowe
Julian Martinez
Maria Martinez
Tonita Peña
Abel Sanchez
   [Oqwa Pi]
Terry Saul
Fritz Scholder
Margaret Tafoya
and many more…


Living Artists

Tony Abeyta
Jeremy Dennis

Carol Emarthle-Douglas
Joe Feddersen
Jody Folwell
Polly Folwell
Susan Folwell
Nicholas Galanin
Jeffrey Gibson
Teri Greeves
Edgar Heap of Birds
Elizabeth James
Sonya Kelliher-Combs



James Lavadour
Meryl McMaster
Nadia Myre
Arlo Namingha
Dan Namingha
Meghann O'Brien
Virgil Ortiz
G. Peter Jemison
Jaune Quick-to-See
Susan Point
Kevin and Valerie

Wendy Red Star



Eric-Paul Riege
Cara Romero
Diego Romero
Sarah Sense
Rose B. Simpson
Preston Singletary
Roxanne Swentzell
Lu Ann Tafoya
Kay WalkingStick
Marie Watt
Emmi Whitehorse
Ken Williams, Jr.
Melanie Yazzie
and many more…


On View Now

Indigenous art is currently on view at MAM:

Download the Bloomberg Connects app for more information.

Gallery Reinstallation

MAM is currently reimagining the display of selected works from our permanent collection of Native art from North America. A fresh, contemporary installation will engage three gallery spaces at the Museum, opening in September 2024. Click here for more information.

Image Credits

Full Image Credits

  1. Elizabeth Hickox (Wiyot, 1872/5–1947). Basket, ca. 1900. Myrtle, conifer root, beargrass, ivory white grass, maidenhair fern, porcupine quills. Bottom: 5 x 8 1/4 in. Gift of Mrs. Henry Lang in memory of her mother, Mrs. Jasper R. Rand, 1931.86ab.
  2. Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation, b. 1940). Two Horse Totem, 1988. Oil on canvas with collage. 66 x 55 1/8 in. Gift of Philip P. Thorpe and Carol A. Hogan, 2010.7. 
  3. Jody Folwell (Khaʼpʼoe Ówîngeh [Santa Clara Pueblo], b. 1942). Sacred Lake, 1995. Clay, pigment. 20 ¼ x 7 ¾ in. Museum purchase, Acquisition Fund, 1995.35ab.
  4. Cara Romero (Chemehuevi, b. 1977). Water Memory, 2015. Archival inkjet print, ed. 5/7. 30 x 30 in. Museum purchase, Acquisition Fund, 2022.21.
  5. Artist Once Known (Unangax̂). Basket with lid, late 19th c. Rye grass, silk thread. 11 1/2 x 11 1/2 in. Gift of Mrs. Henry Lang in memory of her mother, Mrs. Jasper R. Rand, 1931.60A-B.
  6. Artist Once Known (Apsáalooke [Crow]). Horse collar, ca. 1880. Hide, flannel, beads. 14 x 31 1/4 x 1/4 in. Gift of Mrs. Henry Lang in memory of her mother, Mrs. Jasper R. Rand, 1931.447.
  7. Kay WalkingStick (Cherokee Nation, b. 1935). Night/ᎤᏒᎢ (Usvi), 1991. Oil, acrylic, saponified wax, and copper on canvas. 36 1/4 x 72 1/4 in. Museum purchase; funds provided by Alberta Stout, 2000.10.
  8. Sonya Kelliher-Combs (Iñupiaq/Athabascan, b. 1969). Remnant (Moose Jaw), 2016. Mixed media, organic and synthetic materials. 18 × 14 × 1 3/4 in. Museum purchase, Rand Forum Fund, 2020.2.1.
  1. Artist Once Known (Nuu-chah-nulth). Robe, ca. 1900. Cedar bark, pigment, string. 44 1/2 x 61 in. Gift of Mrs. Henry Lang in memory of her mother, Mrs. Jasper R. Rand. 1931.573.
  2. Abel Sanchez [Oqwa Pi] (San Ildefonso Pueblo, 1859–1942). Fiesta Dance Scene, ca. 1930–5. Watercolor on paper. Sheet: 21 5/8 x 27 1/2 in. Gift of Helen Farr Sloan, 1977.48.
  3. James Lavadour (Walla Walla, b. 1951). Hunter, 2004. Oil on wood. 52 x 42 x 3 in. Museum purchase, Acquisition Fund, 2007.24.
  4. Jeffrey Gibson (Mississippi Choctaw/Cherokee descent, b. 1972). Land, Spirit, Power, 2017. Beads (glass and others), metal tacks (bronze, zinc, nickel, brass), artificial sinew, acrylic felt over skinning board. 41 × 14 3/16 in. Museum purchase, Acquisition Fund, 2018.13
  5. Nicholas Galanin (Tlingit/Unangax̂, b. 1979). Your Inane Perspective: Haa Aaní Haa usteeyíx̱ Sitee (Our Land is Our Life), 2015. C-print, ed. 4/10. 22 x 33 in. Museum purchase, Acquisition Fund, 2021.18.
  6. Artist Once Known (Apache). Basket, ca. 1900. Willow, martynia. 4½ x 17½ in. Gift of Mrs. Henry Lang in memory of her mother, Mrs. Jasper R. Rand. 1931.573, 1914.11.
  7. Diego Romero (Cochiti Pueblo, b. 1964). Death of Naranjo, 2006. Clay, pigment. 6 1/4 x 15 3/4 in. Museum purchase, Acquisition Fund, 2006.10