Collecting Indian Arts: Phase Two, The Hunt

July 6, 2011  |  Archive, Trends  |  Share

One object isn’t enough, oh no! The new collector is ready to embark willy-nilly on a hunt for objects like the ones in his/her possession. Frankly, new collectors can’t get enough exposure to these objects. If you don’t live in the Southwest, you comb through local shops, dealers, and shows. It only took one trip for me to realize that big successful enterprises like the Brimfield (MA) antique shows are NOT the place to find one’s objects of desire. A savvy dealer has been there the day before and taken anything of note. New collectors need to understand these realities before expending too much manic energy in fruitless hunts.

Sometimes hunts prove beneficial after the fact. We started visiting trading posts on the Navajo reservation in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Some had already stopped being genuine sources for Indian arts. Yet we discovered an affordable and fantastic rug at the Crystal Trading Post and a saddle blanket at Shonto, and learned about the historical importance of trading posts, even though their day had passed by the mid-1970s. New posts, operating like galleries are less plentiful, but when you hunt down one like Twin Rocks Trading in Bluff, Utah, it’s like hitting a bulls-eye!

Twin Rocks Trading Post, Bluff, UT

 


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