Introductory Gallery

The Museum tour begins in Gallery 1, Picturing Home: Plants and Animals of the Southwest

A selection of historic Native American paintings depicting the legends through animals and the landscape grace the walls. Works by Julian Martinez, Awa Tsireh and Pop Chalee are but a few of the atists whose works are on view.

Along with these fine paintings are historic and contemporary pottery with the same elements.

The exhibition focuses on the history of Native American painting in the Southwest as well as the integral role of Mary B. Rogers, Millicent Rogers’ mother, in the promotion of the modern painting style that is primarily associated with the Santa Fe Indian School.

The growing popularity and recognition of “Indian painting” during the early development of this style resulted in international exhibitions of paintings by many of the same artists included in the Millicent Rogers Museum’s exhibition, which features work by Julian Martinez, Awa Tsireh, Tonita Peña, Fred Kabotie, Pop Chalee, Percy Sandy, Eva Mirabal, Geronima Cruz Montoya, and Quincy Tahoma. In 1953, for example, the National Gallery in Washington D.C. hosted Contemporary American Indian Painting, an exhibit of 115 paintings by 60 Native American artists that was organized by Dorothy Dunn and sponsored, in part, by Mary B. Rogers. Rogers also collected dozens of Native American paintings completed in the Santa Fe Indian School style that were donated to the Millicent Rogers Museum upon its founding in 1956, and several of the works are from Dunn’s personal collection. Additional works in this style were purchased for the museum through the Mary B. Rogers fund in the early 1980s.

Since 2014, the Millicent Rogers Museum has kept a native plants garden on the museum grounds that features many plants species used in the production of the traditional Southwest arts featured in the museum’s fifteen galleries. For example, Yucca is native to the region and is often used in making baskets, Rocky Mountain Bee Plant provided black paint for Pueblo polychrome pots, and Rabbit Brush, or Chamisa, provided yellow and green dyes for weaving textiles. Many of the artworks selected for Picturing Home depict detailed representations of flora and fauna unique to the Southwest, and through the use of digital tour technologies, visitors to the museum will be able to learn about the plants featured in the paintings and will likewise be able to learn about the variety of artworks in the museum’s permanent collection that were made with plants such as those featured in the museum’s garden.

Please check back soon for the App that explores the museums holdings that coincide with the museum's eco system. Discover what plants contribute to these Southwest arts.