35 Years at the C.N. Gorman Museum
Selections from the Permanent Collections

June 30 – September 5, 2008

Since 1973, the C.N. Gorman Museum has continued to exhibit works by contemporary Native American and Indigenous artists. Along the way, the permanent collections began to build through gifts by artists and Davis community members. In the past three years, the collection has doubled in size through generous donations and grant-supported acquisitions.

The exhibition includes works by:

Carl Nelson Gorman
R.C. Gorman
Frank Day
George Morrison
Pablita Velarde
Emmi Whitehorse
Karen Noble
Paul Owns the Sabre
Chris Christy
Kay Walkingstick
Doug Hyde
Edgar Heap of Birds
Brian Tripp
Lyn Risling
George Longfish
Frank Tuttle
Larry McNeil
Melanie Yazzie
and others.

Click HERE for artist bios!


Kin-ya-onny beyeh (Carl Nelson Gorman), Untitled, c.1975.



In celebration of this momentous anniversary, we are pleased to present artworks from the museum’s permanent collections. Since opening in 1973, the museum has hosted over 200 exhibitions and even more artists as part of the long-standing mission to exhibit works by contemporary Native American and Indigenous artists.

Established by Carl Nelson Gorman (NAS faculty, artist, and WWII Code Talker), the earliest exhibitions in the 1970s reflected the activity of this dynamic field by featuring works by prominent artists such as Harry Fonseca, Jean LaMarr, Leatrice Mikkelsen, Brian Tripp, Linda Lomahaftewa, George Longfish, Frank Day and George Morrison.


Kin-ya-onny beyeh (Carl Nelson Gorman), Untitled, c.1975

Continuing into the 1980s, exhibitions featured works by James Luna, Truman Lowe, Edgar Heap of Birds, Amalia Mesa-Bains, Peter Jemison, Carl Nelson Gorman, RC Gorman, Jim Schoppert, Joe Fedderson, James Lavadore, Nora Naranjo and Carlos Licon.

It was in 1990 that the C.N. Gorman Museum exhibited one of the first shows dedicated to contemporary Native American photography "Compensating Imbalances". The decade followed with exhibitions by Mario Martinez, Duane Slick, Judy Lowry, Frank Tuttle, Jimmie Durham, Diane Tani, Hulleah J. Tsinhnahjinnie, Ester Hernandez, Dugan Aguilar, Pamela Shields, Claudia Bernardi, Zig Jackson and Jaune Quick-To-See-Smith.

Since 2000, more artists have joined this history with exhibitions featuring works by David Ipina, Vivien Hailstone, Julian Lang, Shelley Niro, Lyn Risling, C.Maxx Stevens, Celia Herrera Rodriguez, L. Frank Manriquez, Nadia Myre, Tanis Marchia S'eiltin, Frank Shebageget, Ana de Orbegoso, Melanie Yazzie, Noelle Jakeman, Julie Tipene O'Toole and Robert Davidson.

Several of these exhibitions, such as "Ancestral Memories" in 1997, were not only on view at the C.N. Gorman Museum but also toured to other venues. The most recent touring exhibition, "Our People, Our Land, Our Images" (2006) continues to share the museum’s mission and vision with audiences throughout the country on a national tour through 2011.

At a time when UC Davis celebrates a centennial of research and teaching, we celebrate the presence of Native artists and exhibitions for over a third of that time. The C.N. Gorman Museum has established its place not only at UC Davis, but in the larger field of Native American art by exhibiting some of the most promiment Native American artists today. The future of the museum programming holds great promise as established and emerging artists continue to exhibit their works, give artist talks, conduct workshops, and participate in artist residencies. The support of a steadfast and growing membership fosters special events and directly contributes to the conservation and acquisitions for the collections.


For further information or research about
any of the exhibitions, click on Previous Exhibitions
or stop by the museum during opening hours.


Support collection conservation and acquisitions
by becoming a museum member today.
Click Membership & Support for more info.