Diné Life and Legend: Paintings by Harrison Begay


April 05, 2019 until June 30, 2019


Harrison Begay (1917-2012) was a world-renowned Diné (Navajo) painter who is generally regarded as one of the most successful and influential early Native American painters.  Begay studied under Dorothy Dunn at the Santa Fe Indian School in the 1930s, and then attended colleges in North Carolina and Arizona.  From 1942 to 1945, he served in the US Army Signal Corps.  In 1947, Begay returned to the Navajo reservation, where he enjoyed a long and productive career as a painter. He is known to have continued painting into his 90s. Begay passed away in 2012, at the age of 95. 

Begay’s serene, impeccably crafted watercolor paintings are beautiful documents of life on the Navajo reservation.  Begay depicted his preferred subjects—his people and the animals that populated their land—with unparalleled grace.  His ceremonial, spiritual and mythological scenes are remarkable as well, and not just because of their relative rarity.  They’re every bit as warm and accessible as his simple scenes of everyday life. Begay was a gifted traditionalist whose works have an enduring appeal that has influenced countless other artists. 

Diné Life and Legend: Paintings by Harrison Begay will include approximately 15 works by the influential Navajo painter.  The collection includes paintings that feature a wide variety of subjects, offering the viewer a comprehensive look at Begay’s style. 

The exhibit opens Friday, April 5th with reception from 5 to 7 pm.  It will continue through May 31st.

    View our other current and upcoming shows:

    • Historic Painted Cochiti Pueblo Drum Collection
    • Historic Pottery of Zia Pueblo
    • Southwestern Landscapes and Portraits by New Mexico Artists