Lloyd Kiva New

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Lloyd Kiva New
Born Lloyd Henri New
(1916-02-18)February 18, 1916
Fairland, Oklahoma
Died February 8, 2002(2002-02-08) (aged 85)
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Nationality Cherokee
Education School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Known for Native fashion design, Native American studies

Lloyd Kiva New (Cherokee, 1916–2002) was a pioneer of modern Native American fashion design and one of the co-founders of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Early life and education[edit]

New was born Lloyd Henri New on February 18, 1916 in Fairland, Oklahoma.[1] His father William Edward New (1875–1968) was Scots-Irish, and his mother, Josephine Colston New (1875–1955), was fullblood Cherokee.[2] New was the youngest of ten children.[1]

He earned bachelor's and master's degrees in art education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. After graduating, he taught painting at the Phoenix Indian School in Arizona, and then enlisted in the US Navy in 1941.[3]

Fashion design[edit]

New moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, where in 1945 he opened a fashion boutique in the Arizona Craftsmen Court in Scottsdale, Arizona. His label, named Kiva, first focused on leather purses, belts, and hats. In 1948, he expanded to a full clothing line.[1] He collaborated with major Native American artists, including Manfred Susunkewa (Hopi), Charles Loloma (Hopi), and Andrew Van Tsinhajinnie (Navajo).[1] His boutique flourished through the 1940s and 1950s. When Miss Arizona Lynn Freyse competed for Miss America in 1957, she wore a Kiva New-designed dress.[1] Kiva designs sold to Neiman-Marcus.[4]

Institute of American Indian Arts[edit]

Initially, New envisioned a "design laboratory" that taught young Native American students how to make a living through their arts. This evolved into the Institute of American Indian Arts, which New co-founded with Dr. George Boyce and opened in Santa Fe in 1962. The school, initially a high school and then later a college, was funded by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.[4][1] New served as the inaugural art director and later president of the school.[4] The purpose of the school was to provide an education which fostered pride in students' indigenous heritage and featured the development of skills designed to improve their economic opportunities. New taught a printed textiles course focused on dying techniques, and Azalea Thorpe, who he would marry in 1966, taught weaving.[5][6]

"Lloyd 'Kiva' New wanted art to be a larger dialogue, relevant to Native Americans and to people who are not Native American," said Tatiana Lomahaftewa-Singer (Hopi-Choctaw), IAIA curator of collections. "He wanted more pure art than something designed for the market."[7]


New retired from IAIA in 1978 but served as president emeritus. The American Craft Council declared him an honorary fellow in 1976, and Santa Fe declared him a Living Treasure in 1989.[8] He was an adviser to the National Museum of the American Indian.[4] The Art Institute of Chicago bestowed an honorary doctorate upon him in 2000.[4]


New died of heart failure on February 8, 2002. He was survived by his two children from his first marriage, their children, and his wife, Aysen New.[4]

Major exhibits[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Metcalfe, PhD, Jessica. "Native Fashion Design". New Mexico History. NM Office of the State Historian. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  2. ^ "Dawes Final Rolls". Oklahoma Historical Society. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  3. ^ "Lloyd Kiva New: Art, Design, & Influence." Museum of Contemporary Native Arts. 2016. Accessed 10 February 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Lloyd Kiva New, 86, Teacher of Indian Arts". New York Times. 10 February 2002. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  5. ^ Metcalfe, Jessica RheAnn (2010). Native Designers of High Fashion: Expressing Identity, Creativity, and Tradition in Contemporary Customary Clothing Design (PhD). Tucson, Arizona: The University of Arizona. pp. 132–133. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Thorpe, New Vows Repeated". Santa Fe, New Mexico: The Santa Fe New Mexican. 13 November 1966. p. 22. Retrieved 20 January 2018 – via Newspapers.com. open access publication – free to read
  7. ^ a b c d Jadrnak, Jackie (8 January 2016). "Lloyd 'Kiva' New encouraged Native American students to broaden, modernize their creative works". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  8. ^ "Lloyd Kiva New." Santa Fe Living Treasures. 2016

External links[edit]