2 New Exhibits Display Works From 1 of the Most Respected Native American Art

Helen Hardin (U.S., Santa Clara, 1943-1984) Winter Awakening of the O-Khoo-Wah, 1972 Acrylic on board, 14 3/4 x 29 1/2 in. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, the University of Oklahoma, Norman; James T. Bialac Native American Art Collection, 2010 © The Helen Hardin Estate

Indian Country Today

Two New Exhibits Display Works From One of the Most Respected Native American Art Collections

The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma in Norman recently opened two exhibitions, The James T. Bialac Native American Art Collection: Selected Works and Indigenous Aesthetics: Selections, from the James T. Bialac Native American Art Collection. Both will be open to the public until the end of December.

The collection, a gift from James T. Bialac of Arizona, contains more than 4,000 works representing indigenous cultures across North America, especially the Pueblos of the Southwest, the Navajo, the Hopi, many of the tribes of the Northern and Southern Plains and the Southeastern tribes. There are approximately 2,600 paintings and works on paper, 1,000 kachina dolls and 100 pieces of jewelry representing major Native artists such as Fred Kabotie, Awa Tsireh, Fritz Scholder, Joe Herrera, Allan Houser, Jerome Tiger, Tonita Pena, Helen Hardin, Pablita Velarde, George Morrison, Richard “Dick” West, Patrick DesJarlait and Pop Chalee.

“It is an honor to share the James T. Bialac Native American Art Collection with our museum patrons because not only is it an example of the collector’s passion and generosity, but the work represents many of the best artists from, and the cultural diversity of, Native America,” said Heather Ahtone, James T. Bialac Assistant Curator of Native American and Non-Western Art at the museum, in a press release.

Bialac’s gift elevates the museum’s strong Native art collection, said Mark White, Eugene B. Adkins and Chief Curator, in the release. “The Bialac Collection offers a comprehensive survey of 20th-century Native American art,” White said. “Every artist of influence or importance from the beginning of the century onward is included this collection.

The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art is located in the OU Arts District on the corner of Elm Avenue and Boyd Street, at 555 Elm Ave., on the OU Norman campus. Regular admission to the museum is complimentary to OU students with a current student ID and museum association members, $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for children 6 to 17 years of age, $2 for OU faculty/staff, and free for military veterans with proof and children 5 and under. The museum is closed on Mondays and admission is complimentary on Tuesdays. The museum’s website is www.ou.edu/fjjma. Information and accommodations on the basis of disability are available by calling (405) 325-4938.