Draft:Nathan Begaye

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Nathan Begaye
Born 1969
Phoenix, Arizona
Died December, 2010[1]
Nationality Navajo and Hopi
Education Institute of American Indian Art (Sante Fe, New Mexico), New York State College for Ceramics at Alfred University.
Known for ceramics
Movement Postmodernist Indian Pottery
External images
Photo of Nathan Begaye
Snow Cloud, 1998
Yeh! Bichai, 1980s
Sorrow, Half Breed, 2005

Nathan Begaye (1969–2010) was a Native American ceramics artist of Navajo and Hopi descent.


Nathan Begaye was both in Phoenix, AZ in 1969 to a Navajo father and a Hopi mother.[2] He was raised by his maternal grandparents in the Third Mesa and Tuba City, Arizona.[2] His upbringing was ultra-conservative and traditional, and he was schooled in the lore, history, religion, symbolism, and customs of the Navajo and Hopi peoples.[2]

Art career[edit]

Begaye's interest in pottery began early, at age 10, and he had his first public exhibition only one year later.[3] He learned traditional techniques and pigment recipes from people in his tribal community, both Navajo and Hopi.[2] As they were tribal secrets, he kept these to himself even when he became a teacher later in life.[2] After receiving a SWAIA scholarship,[4] he left home at age 14 to study ceramics at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Sante Fe, NM.[2]

Although his upbringing was very conservative, Begaye used unexpected and unorthodox techniques in his work.[2] Said to utilize a "maverick sense of form, texture, color, and design,[5]" Begaye's work was often personal and autobiographical.[2]

Notable collections[edit]

Selected Exhibition History[6][edit]

  • Native American Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
November 20, 2010 – December 31, 2016
  • Passionate Journey: The Grice Collection of Native American Art
Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC
July 18, 2009 – October 17, 2009
  • Intersections: Native American Art in a New Light
Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA
June 24, 2006 – November 27, 2011
  • Free Spirit: The New Native American Potter
Stedelijk Museum’s, Hertogenbosch, Netherlands
  • Dualities: Nathan Begaye + Les Namingha + Dusty Naranjo
Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Santa Fe, NM
May 12, 2006 – June 25, 2006
  • American Indian Art at the Spencer Museum of Art
Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas,Lawrence, KS
September 6, 2003 - October 19, 2003
  • Indian Market: New Directions in Southwestern Native American Pottery
Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA
November 16, 2001 – March 17, 2002


  1. ^ "NATHAN BEGAYE, Hopi-Navajo". Robert Nichols Gallery. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Clark, Garth. Free Spirit: The New Native American Potter. Hertogenbosch, Netherlands: Stedelijik Museum's, 2006: 102-123.
  3. ^ David Revere McFadden, Ellen Napiura Taubman, ed. (2002). Changing Hands: Art Without Reservation, 1: Contemporary Native American Art from the Southwest. London: Merrell. p. 33. 
  4. ^ Nichols, Robert F. (June/July 1993). "Beautiful...as Possible: The Pottery of Nathan Begaye". FOCUS Magazine. 
  5. ^ Glosband, Merrily (April 2002). "Indian Market: New Directions in Southwestern Native American Pottery". Ceramics Monthly 50 (4). 
  6. ^ "Selected Exhibition History". Peabody Essex Museum. 

See also[edit]

Category:Native American artists Category:1969 births Category:2010 deaths Category:Native American potters Category:Artists from Arizona Category:Navajo artists Category:Hopi artists Category:Contemporary artists Category:1969 births Category:2010 deaths Category:1969 births Category:2010 deaths