Native American Art is the new art deco

When I first came to New Mexico, I quickly discovered the vast wealth of the art of the First Nation Americans. I studied the Navajo blankets, Lakota costumes, Aztec headdresses etc.  and felt this was a resource as important to the world of design as the Egyptian archeological finds were in the 1920’s.  In the first picture you can see the effect of Egyptomania, and how it informed the entire art deco movement.


Egyptian art inspired several generations and freed modern design from the constraints of the Victorian era.


Wonderful jewelry, costumes, furniture and architecture  flowed from the many artists during the period and became extremely popular in North America.



I wondered if the same force would drive the Southwest art into the mainstream.


These Doors styled after blankets were created for the Inn of the Anasazi.  Santa Fe.  With a special hand planed textured surface the wood took on the feel of textile.

With a similar admiration for Native American art, I made doors that looked like blankets, to emulate the Anasazi  who hung blankets over their doorways, and beds adorned with carved headdress to emulate the high level of ritual art.  This led me to produce a whole collection of furnishings and details that played off this vast resource.  This was my first homage to the wonderful artists of the First nation. From the Pacific North to the Southwest, I found the common thread of playfulness with outline, eye dazzling color, and deeply impressionistic symbolism.



A cabinet styled after the Haida tribe ornamental shield.







This corner display cabinet is derived from the art of the Hopi, who were true abstract impressionists.


The central motif is of the eagle, as if looking from the eye of the eagle.





This display cabinet features the Klingit Totems and is styled after their longhouse architecture.


From the Northern forests, across the central plains and the southwest deserts, the art of the First Nation people formed a great inspiration for me.










2 thoughts on “Native American Art is the new art deco

  1. very fine appreciation for handwork and its long historical antecedents. Indeed quite rare these days. The Haida cupboard really caught my eye. A visual potlatch so to speak. Very good to meet you. Keep at it.

    • Thank you. Sorry it is a late reply but I have been lazy about updates. When I saw the Haida art and all art of the pacific northwest, I knew there was a gold mine of glorious things to be made. I’d love to make more. Would you like a piece?

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