Cover image for St. James guide to native North American artists
St. James guide to native North American artists
Matuz, Roger.
Publication Information:
Detroit : St. James Press, [1998]

Physical Description:
xxxii, 691 pages : illustrations ; 29 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E98.A7 S8 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ

On Order



Profiling 400 prominent artists of the 20th century, each entry in this reference includes a biographical profile; lists of exhibitions, public galleries and museums; a bibliography of books and articles by and about the entrant; and presents a critical perspective on the artist's work.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Similar in format to other art reference sources published by St. James Press, including Contemporary Architects (3d ed., 1994), Contemporary Artists (3d ed., 1989), and St. James Guide to Black Artists [RBB O 15 97], this guide highlights just fewer than 400 twentieth-century North American Indian artists, many of whom are still active in their fields. The artists have worked or are currently working in a variety of genres: painting, fabric arts, jewelry, drawing, photography, sculpture, beadwork, carving, architecture, mixed media, basketry, pottery, performance art, and printmaking. Each entry includes basic biographical information, a list of exhibitions and galleries housing them, a bibliography of books and articles by and about the artist, and a critical appraisal written by a specialist in the field. Complementing the entries are black-and-white photographs and, occasionally, a statement written by the artists themselves. A meandering, overlong preface and a shorter introduction provide an overview of some issues facing Native American artists and serve as a useful context for the entries of the book. An index with cross-references for pseudonyms and variant names provides fuller access to the already alphabetized entries. There are also other indexes: a listing by tribe for each artist included in this biocritical resource, a geographic index by country and state or province, an index listing artists by the art medium used, and an index to illustrations reprinted in the text. Native American Painters of the Twentieth Century: The Works of 61 Artists, by Robert Henkes (McFarland, 1995), covers some of the artists included in the St. James Guide, but its scope is much more narrow because it includes only painters. (A few painters, such as Julie Lankford, Robert Leedom, and Billy Newman, appear only in Henkes' book.) Also, the entries in Native American Painters consist only of a short narrative critique with minimal biographical information integrated into the essay; there are no listings of exhibitions and no bibliographical information. Specialized art libraries (museums and galleries), most academic libraries, and large public libraries should add the St. James Guide to their reference collections, even if they own Henkes' less comprehensive book. A few high-school libraries that support curricular programs in ethnic studies and/or American art might also consider the resource for their reference collections. (Reviewed April 1, 1998)

Library Journal Review

In the style of their previous guides (e.g., Black Artists, LJ 9/15/97), St. James has given us a biographical reference to more than 400 creators of Native American art in the United States and Canada over the last century. (Art here embraces craft objects such as baskets and jewelry as well as photography, film, sculpture, and painting.) Entries give tribal affiliation, usual art form, a biographical statement, and a detailed list of exhibitions and publications, but the heart of each entry is an extended description of the artist's life and work. The illustrations are clear and helpful, but many entries are not illustrated or show only the artist. The book closes with indexes by name, tribe, medium, illustrations, and geographic location, as well as brief notes on the contributors. While the majority of modern artists do not live in a tribal setting, and many have a multicultural background, the pull of the past and a sense of community are evident here. Artists range from long-dead basket maker Amanda Wilson to Rebecca Belmore, a modern Ojibway performance artist. Surprisingly, no entries exist for Navajo weavers, better-known Cherokee basket makers, jeweler and Colorado senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, or Ben Quintana, though he is mentioned both in the preface and in the entry on Montoya. Still, nothing compares in breadth with this vast overview. A good addition to larger reference collections, particularly in libraries with a Native American or multicultural focus.‘Gay Neale, Southside Virginia Community Coll. Lib., Alberta (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.