For People Interested In Authentic Native American Art:
My interest in Native American Art began when I was a child. My father began collecting Katsinas, and I asked a lot of questions about them. As I grew up, I was surrounded by Native American Art. I was particularly curious about the amazing Hopi Carvings my dad brought home from trips to Northern Arizona and the reservation.
My father wasn’t out to just buy names. Instead, he bought what he found interesting. Some of the pieces were very crude, yet captivating. Others were extraordinarily detailed. If my father really liked a piece, he would find a way to own it. His attention to detail affected me, and I apply that inheritance today, in my own store.
As my father’s collection grew, my mother found herself drawn to Pueblo Pottery both large and small. She would show me something interesting after every buying trip, sometimes even photos of the person who made the item. Before you knew it, Native American Art was everywhere in our house. Perhaps that’s what made my parents decide that they were no longer just collectors; they would become Native American Art dealers.
I traveled the trade circuit with them, and began selling pieces at around the age of eight. My parents paid me a small commission on each piece I sold. I did pretty well, because customers were always intrigued by a child who was very knowledgeable about the Native Art. At the age of 12, I took my commission money and began purchasing Zuni Fetish Necklaces and Individual Carvings, as well as a display case. I was in business.
In 1997, I bought The Scottsdale Trading Post on Fifth Avenue. The Trading Post was small in stature and floor space, but huge in its practice as a reputable dealer of Authentic Native American Art, having been open since 1958.
Over the last 50 years, The Scottsdale Trading Post has built strong relationships with the artists and their families. This allows the store to obtain high quality and unusual one of a kind items. We continue to foster great relations with the artists by being fair during the purchasing process. Part of our mission is to nurture creativity and cultural continuity among Native American Artists—young and old.
Today, serious buyers of Native American Art are still drawn to Scottsdale Trading Post for the same reason they collect. They know they can enjoy and explore the History of these works, while safely trusting in the Authenticity and Quality of our pieces, as well as our Connection to the Artists.
We enjoy customers who not only want to shop with us, but also like to learn about the process that goes into making a piece of art; not just the name. With our knowledge, we can bring you a step closer to appreciating the culture of the Native Americans. Many other shops unfortunately can’t do this; their employees don’t really know much about what they are selling. I highly recommend that people visit the Heard Museum in downtown Phoenix.
Reproductions from overseas have done a lot of damage to the Native American Art trade. They have run rampant through it. Originally it was being made in the Philippines, but has now carried over into China.
I don’t mind sending business to my competitors, as long as the customer will be purchasing from a dealer of Authentic Native American Art. If a person buys a piece of art, and later finds out that it is counterfeit, s/he may never purchase Native American Art again. In the end, this negatively effects the native peoples. And it damages more than the artists’ pocket books. The stigma of dishonesty sometimes comes to be falsely associated with the very honest, true craftspeople who create these magnificent works. So, please! Do your homework and seek out Authentic Pieces.
At that very first show in Pasadena, California when I was 12, I sold almost every Zuni Fetish Necklace and Individual Carving that I purchased in New Mexico. I succeeded that day, because I understood the Native Traditions, the Creative Practices and the artisans, as well as the desires of the retail market. The result was a collection of high-quality, very desirable works were literally snapped up. Today, I do my best to continually acquire items of equal or higher quality and desirability, and I find myself learning something new about this form of art on a daily basis. I am very fortunate to be in a business that is my passion. And I hope to pass some of that knowledge on to you—to ignite your own passion for Native American Art.
Thank you for you interest in Native American Art,