Lunchable: Gorman's Southwest Exhibition on View Until Dec. 7

The first site you'll see in the latest Gorman exhibition is a sculpture backed by a colorful wall of paintings and prints. The exhibition closes Friday. (Courtesy, C.N. Gorman)

Lunchable is a regular feature offering exhibitions that can be viewed during lunch or another short break.

The C.N. Gorman's Recent Acquisitions from the Southwest is viewable through the end of this week. If you are tempted to walk by Hart Hall on the UC Davis campus because you don't have time, fight that temptation. Go in.

Located right inside Hart's front door, the current exhibition is spectacular.

On a recent visit, I saw many off- and on-campus visitors marveling at the pottery, jewelry, paintings, sculpture and gorgeous textiles. It should not be missed.

This show gives you a glimpse into the ever-growing collection of the museum as it prepares to move, in the near future, to the former Richard L. Nelson Gallery on campus, a larger venue that will more greatly honor the rich collection while giving the public much more access.

Over the past two years, the museum has been honored with gifts of artwork from numerous private collections. This exhibition presents a selection of those gifts, including sculpture, painting and multimedia alongside ceramics, textiles and basketry, by contemporary and historical artists. It's just one example of recent gifts to the museum.

Four recent donations brought 1,250 artworks to the collection: Northwest Coast art given by Gloria and Selig Kaplan and Jill and Michael Pease; Southwest art given by Carol and Don Tallman, and contemporary paintings from collectors Zelma Long and Phillip Freese.

The gifts bring the museum’s collection of contemporary Native American art to nearly 3,000 works, a tenfold increase over the past decade.

“Museum director Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie and I have worked to create and enhance our relationships with collectors,” said museum curator Veronica Passalacqua. “The collection has been growing faster than ever through the generosity of museum members, artists and private collectors.”

Jill Pease, Long, and Freese all studied at UC Davis and about one-third of the collection came directly from artists.

Mary Histia, 1962. Gift of Carol and Don Tallman.
Mary Histia, 1962. Gift of Carol and Don Tallman.

“The high proportion of artist gifts speaks to the Gorman’s relationships with Native American and other indigenous artists, and the long-standing commitment to representing current and contemporary art,” Passalacqua said.

The museum highlighted the gifts in Recent Acquisitions from the Northwest Coast last year and in the current exhibition Recent Acquisitions from the Southwest.

“We’ve also embarked on an expanded exhibition program that reaches across the continent to represent the canon of Native American and First Nations art, and that has brought a wider range of museum visitors, including intertribal communities and collectors alongside our dedicated local visitors,” Passalacqua said.

More about the museum.

— Jeffrey Day, content strategist in the College of Letters and Science, contributed to this story.


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