Native American Artists Underrepresented in American Art Museums

Women and Minorities Find Less Representation in Large Contemporary Art Galleries

Native American artist John Nieto has made huge strides in bringing national recognition and respect to Native American artists and their paintings. His work can be found within the presidential library and was even presented to Ronald Reagan during his presidential term. Recognized as “fine art,” Nieto’s online southwest art gallery depicts bold representations of Native American themes, culture and continues to be a strong voice within contemporary art circles.

Despite Nieto’s obvious advancements and personal success, Native American artists as a whole are still largely underrepresented within American Art Museums. The new Whitney’s Museum’s Inaugural Exhibition America is Hard to See, displays the disproportionate representation of Native American artists. It promises “fresh perspectives on the Whitney’s collection and reflects upon art in the United States.” However, since nearly 70% of the artists are male and 80% of the artists are of European descent, it’s safe to assume that the expected “fresh perspective” is somewhat skewed.

Only one Native American artist is represented at this exhibition. Other minorities fare better, but not by much; 5% of East and South Asian artists, 10% of black or African-American diaspora and 4% Latino. Unfortunately, the representation of women also went down since last year’s Whitney Bennial 2014 exhibit that featured 32% instead of 2015’s 30%.

American art museums as a whole have seen some improvements in diversity of artists and art pieces. The statistics still reveal a startling truth. When it comes to the representation of American art and artists, museums still need to work harder to ingratiate diversity.

Native American Artwork and Contemporary Fine Art Available Online

To see modern day depictions of Native American art, visit John Nieto’s online art gallery right here on our website. Nieto Fine Art representatives can be reached via our online contact form or by phone at (415) 347-8173.