Page 6 - IACA Journal: Fall 2012

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IACAJOURNAL
Colectorsarethedrivingforceoftheartworld.Whetherindividuals, corporations, publicandprivateinstitutions, ormuseums,
colectorshaveaprofoundefectonthequalityandquantityofartworkcreated.TheworldofAmericanIndianArtisveryfortunateto
havecolectorslikeMikeandJuanitaEagleofRanchoSantaFe, California.
Inthemid1980s, theirinterestinAmericanIndianArtwaspiquedbyasmalpotbroughtbackbytheirdaughterfroma4thgradeschol
triptoNorthernArizona.Theyreturnedtotheareaasafamilythefolowingsummerandwerecapturedbythescenery, theculture, and
theartworkoftheregion.TheirfirstvisittoSantaFeIndianMarketin1989overwhelmedthemwiththevarietyandqualityoftheart
workonview.MikeandJuanitausedtheoportunitytobroadentheirknowledgeandhavebenbackalmosteveryyearsince.
Somepeoplestartacolectionwithaspecificgoalinmind, perhapsfocusingonaparticularartist, artisticmediumorregion.TheEagles
decidedtostart theircolectionwithtwomaingoals: whatevertheypurchasedmust besomethingtheybothliked, andsomethingthat they
couldlivewitheveryday“becauseitisbeautiful”.They
decidednottoworyabouthowwel-knownanartistmight
be,butrathertofocusonlivingartistswhomtheycould
metandgettoknowpersonaly.Asaresult,Mikeand
Juanitahavedevelopedlastingandpersonalrelationships
withseveralartistsovermanyyearsincludingPahpone
(
potery–Kickapo/Potawatomi),TammyGarcia(bronze
sculptures–SantaClaraPueblo), andTonyAbeyta(painter
Dine), aswelaswithmanyothers.
Althoughthat smalpot wasthestart oftheEagles’interest
inNativeart, theirfirst piecewasactualyanEagleDancer
Hopikachinawhichtheyboughtfortheirdaughter’sdol
colection. Theircolectionofkachinasnownumbers
around15andisdisplayedinasmal,specialydesigned
romintheirhome.Withtheirincreasedknowledgeofthe
culturalsignificanceofkachinas,MikeandJuanitalong
agostopedthinkingofthemas‘dols’;theoriginalEagle
Dancerstilremainsondisplay.
MikeandJuanitahavebuilttheircolectionovermore
than25years.Compromiseisthekeywordwhentheyare
chosinganewpiece.Sometimesitisapiecetheyboth
realylike, othertimesonemaynot bequitesoenthusiastic
astheother, buttheystilfelgodaboutadingittotheir
home.Ifoneofthemrealydoesnotlikeapiece,they
saysoandmoveontosomethingelse.Mikegeneraly
enjoysbuyingkachinas,whilerugs,poteryandpaintings
areusualyajointevent.Juanitahasalsobuiltapersonal
colectionofNativejewelry.Unusualy,foracolector,
shedoesnothaveanybracelets,butenjoysnecklacesand
pendants,earingsandringsincontemporarydesigns
withgoldinsteadofsilver.Mikehassomebolo
tiesandbeltbuckles,butleavesmostofthe
jewelrycolectingtohiswife.
© 2012MichaelGarlandPhotography
COLLECTOR'SPROFILE:THEEAGLES
AHOMEFORART
ByDeDowers