American Indians •  History and New Mexico

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Santa Fe Indian Market: A History of Native Arts and the Marketplace

Bruce Bernstein

Each August 100,000 people attend Indian Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the nation's largest and most anticipated Native arts event. One thousand artists representing 160 tribes, nations, and villages from the United States and Canada proudly display and sell their works of art, ranging from pottery and basketry to contemporary paintings and sculptures. Beautifully illustrated with photographs of the artists and their work and historical photos from the market's ninety-year history.


Bruce Bernstein is the former executive director of the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, which sponsors Santa Fe Indian Market. He is the former assistant director for research and collections at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and former director of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is the coauthor of Modern by Tradition: American Indian Painting in the Studio Style (Museum of New Mexico Press).


"With his particularly deep knowledge of Pueblo pottery, Bernstein has used historical photos, early journals, advertising materials, letters, newspapers, and magazines to track the making and selling of Native art over hundreds of years, documenting the origins of efforts to help artists eliminate the middlemen in curio shops and trading posts and to sell their work directly to customers. . . . Bernstein makes a very thorough investigation of the changes in Indian Market's organizational structure from its founding to its present-day incarnation. . . . If themes thread through the whole of Bernstein's book, they are these: that Native arts—and artists—transcend ethnography to occupy a place in the world of fine art; and that the ongoing tension between tradition and innovation, persistence and change, is at the heart of Native art—and Indian Market."


Santa Fe New Mexican

Published By Museum of New Mexico Press

8 x 10 in. 152 pages 60 color and 22 black-and-white images