Coronado Historic Site

Early Native American Easel Art in New Mexico: The Dorothy Dunn Collection

March 11, 2015



New Exhibit Featuring Early Native American Easel Art at Coronado Historic Site from the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture’s Dorothy Dunn Collection.

March 2015 – February 2016

The exhibition Early Native American Easel Art in New Mexico just opened at the Coronado Historic Site and runs through February 2016. Featured are seventeen prints of original water color paintings lent by the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture’s Dorothy Dunn Collection.

Among the artists on view are Vidal Casiquito, Jr. and José Rey Toledo of Jemez, Gilbert Atencio of San Ildefonso, and Pablita Velarde of Santa Clara, as well as several pieces by Zia artist, Velino Shije Herrera, who in the early 1930s painted the murals in the reconstructed Kiva at the Coronado Site. Pueblo lifeways is the exhibition’s theme.

Easel painting style was popularized by pioneering instructor Dorothy Dunn who taught at the Santa Fe Indian School between 1932 and 1937. These works are characterized by their two-dimensional, flat outlined forms, derived from the abstract and geometric shapes found in rock painting, traditional painted pottery, Kiva murals, and earlier ledger drawings depicting Native cultural traditions and lifeways in New Mexico.

Dunn preferred that her students rely on their natural ability and remembrance of their cultural traditions in their works which gives us, the present-day viewers, great insight into our Southwest heritage. Visitors to the exhibition will see that these works tell a story and can compare them with the ancient Kiva paintings in both the mural room and in the painted Kiva at the site.

Admission is $3 per adult; children 16 and under are free. Admission to the exhibition is included with the entrance fee to the site. New Mexico seniors are free on Wednesdays and all New Mexico residents are free on Sundays. Coronado Historic Site is located on US 550 in Bernalillo. It is open daily except Tuesdays, from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.  For more information: 505-867-5351, or 

Media Contacts:

Steve Cantrell, PR Manager








Coronado Historic Site is a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.

More information on Coronado Historic Site can be found on its web site;


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