Whether traditional or contemporary, Native American artwork is both highly collectible and universally appealing. Native American art forms the basis of many exemplary public as well as private art collections. People that collect Native American artwork can be very passionate about their collections.
Older, more traditional Native American artwork and cultural artifacts are not merely revered and / or emulated by modern artists, they are also held dear as parts of art collections the world over.
Fine Native American art done by well known American Indian artists, such as Nampeyo, the Hopi potter, can raise the caliber of a private or public art collection quite significantly. Iris Nampeyo lived on the Hopi Reservation in Arizona. She made a good income making pots and selling them at local trading posts.
A remarkable aspect of Nampeyo’s work is that over time she became more ad more interested in making pots according to ancient ways, as opposed to the modern pottery that was being made by people at the time. The quality of her work, as well as her interest and use of ancient pottery techniques certainly add to the demand and high price tags of her work.
If you find yourself in the market for Native American art antiques, be prepared to pay the price. Particularly with Native American art, availability doesn’t correlate to demand or cost, as is the case with many other highly collectible art types.
Items such as early Plains beadwork or late nineteenth century basketry are certainly examples of what would be considered extremely rare finds in the world of Native American art auctions.
When choosing from various art pieces, compare styles, read and research. This is really the only way to educate oneself about the various types of American Indian art. Then it’s time to shop around. Just like anything else, you won’t know what’s available unless you take the time to comparison shop.
During the 1900s many of the Native American art and crafts that other peoples associate with American Indians began to be commercially produced, especially by Asian nations. These Native American fakes became so widely purchased that several millions of dollars were taken from the American Indian artists in the form of cheap imitation Native American art.
Before purchasing Native American art antiques it’s a good idea to perform additional research has to the authenticity of the piece or pieces. Unless you’re highly knowledgeable on the topic and have experience spotting fakes, this type of art can be extremely hard to verify by inexperienced sight alone.
All in all, collecting American Indian art antiques is just like collecting any other antique, the definitive and primary timeframe is anything that is pre-1950s. Although a name that is well known can seriously increase the value of an object, condition, workmanship and prevalence are factors that are just as important.
Increasingly, even seasoned art dealers that deal in American Indian art find it difficult to discern authentic art antiques from imitation pieces. For this reason, it is particularly important to opt for dealing with reputable sources. In order to ensure that your perfect Native American art antique is the real deal it’s worth taking the time to locate such a well known art dealer or museum.
There are specialized art museums and dealers that offer Native American art pieces. These organizations generally are most interested in promoting Native art and cultures. The better of these institutions and organizations directly invest many of the profits gained from the sale of art pieces back into the Native American community.
When it comes to collecting Native American art antiques or any other type of art, don’t buy it unless you absolutely love it. Your best pieces are going to cost a pretty penny. If you don’t fall in love with a piece, chances are you’re not going to like it any better once it’s on your wall. So hold out for the perfect piece, you’ll be glad you did.