About Collections

The Gorman Museum Collections
Rick Bartow
Rick Bartow, Yellow Jock: Homage to Little Beaver Fry III, 2004. Gift of the Richard E. Bartow Estate & Froelick Gallery.

The permanent collections have grown alongside the Gorman Museum since its establishment in 1973 to include artworks by Native American, First Nations and Indigenous artists.  The Native American and First Nations collections emphasize the museum focus upon contemporary fine art, representing the wide range of media in which Indigenous artists are working today.

Most of the pieces in collections have been created since 1990, with the majority being works on paper, painting, and mixed media.  The collection also includes a range of sculpture, ceramics, basketry, and textiles.  Earlier pieces include artists who are considered to be foundational in the canon of Native American and First Nations art.

The collections also reflect museum collaborations and relationships with artists globally to include contemporary artworks from Aotearoa (New Zealand), Australia, Samoa, Bali, Peru, Central America and Spain.

The New Collections Gallery

In a strong and lasting commitment to the collections, the museum includes the newly-created Collections Gallery.  Moving museum collections from off-site storage and placing artworks into prominent long-term exhibits in the main public galleries, the Collections Gallery provides enhanced visibility, access, and engagement to collections for visitors while also furthering university teaching and research.  See the related exhibition page for more information on the current Collections Gallery exhibition.

This project was made possible through support from UC Davis, Henry Luce Foundation, The Mellon Foundation and museum donors. 

Henry Luce Foundation
Mellon Foundation