JULY 26, 1932


Born in Chinle, Arizona, his father, also named Carl, was a noted Navajo painter and code talker during WWII.  Gorman’s grandmother taught him Navajo legends and encouraged his art.  He often drew on the ground and made clay sculptures while tending sheep.  After serving in the Navy, Gorman attended Northern Arizona University studying literature and art before a Navajo Tribal Council scholarship in 1958 allowed him to study art at Mexico City College where he was influenced by the work of Diego Rivera.  R.C. later studied art at San Francisco State College.  Gorman moved from California to New Mexico and opened the R. C. Gorman Navajo Gallery in Taos in 1968 in Taos.  In 1973, his work was shown in “Masterworks of the American Indian” at the Metropolitan Museum, New York, NY.  One of his pieces graced the cover of the exhibit’s catalog.  Gorman’s work was explored in a PBS series on American Indian artists.  He died in Albuquerque, New Mexico, November 3, 2005.

Source:  “R. C. Gorman,” The Annex Galleries.  Retrieved 5/31/2020, https://www.annexgalleries.com/artists/biography/849/Gorman/R.
Lithograph:  R. C. Gorman (1932-2005), 1974.  Zonnie, from the Nanabah Suite, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from the U. S. Tax Court, 1994.87.1, © 1974, R.C. Gorman.  Courtesy of Smithsonian American Art Museum. 

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