The World's Master of Oil Wash Painting

Tuesday, July 10, 2018 9:31 AM

The World's Master of Oil Wash Painting

When Albert Dreher began painting fine art, following a successful career as a commercial artist, he was looking for something different, something that would make his work unique. 

He found it when he developed the “Oil Wash” technique. The simple thing to know about this style is that it allows him to create beautiful paintings that jump from the paper. His favorite subjects are Ancestral Pueblo (that is the politically correct name for “Anasazi”) ruins. His work is a combination of free-flowing paint and precise images.

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"A Celebration of Life"

Wednesday, July 4, 2018 3:17 PM

For several years, Peter quit painting and focused on canvas art, sewing animal figures out of canvas and decorating them with feathers, beads and acrylic paints. He still makes these fun pieces and we are proud to carry them. 

I kept asking him when he was going to start painting again and last year he broke out the easel and reached into his bag of creativity. His new pieces are happy and fun and reflect his positive attitude.

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The Brian Lebel Old West Show and Auction

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 12:08 PM

The Brian Lebel Old West Show and Auction

On Saturday and Sunday, June 23 and 24, one of the most unique and fun shows in the country will be held at the Sweeney Center in Santa Fe. It’s not at Indian Show, or a Cowboy Show of an Ethnographic Show. It is everything that has to do with the West. 

This show started in Cody, Wyoming and later moved to Denver. We exhibited until they moved it to Houston, Texas. I love Texas, but I don’t go there in the summer months, so we took a few years off. Now it is back in the mountains of Santa Fe and we have some great new collections to share with you this weekend.

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More on J.B. Moore

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 11:54 AM

More on J.B. Moore

The demise of J. B. Moore is really turning into an interesting topic. Jill Tripp, a friend from Durango brought by the book “Posts and Rugs: The Story of the Navajo Weaving and The Role of The Indian Trader” by H.L James, which was a classic published in 1976. It was reprinted in 2005 with footnotes. Jill had that edition and in the notes is had a couple of references to J.B. Moore’s departure from the Crystal Trading Post. 

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An Artist You'll Be Glad You Heard About!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 11:30 AM

An Artist You'll Be Glad You Heard About!

This last year I met an amazing, interesting and talented artist that we are looking forward to sharing with the you. This young man and his talent are for real. I would like to share his fascinating journey towards becoming a great artist.

Shawn was born in 1978. His early years were all spent at Cove, Arizona on the Navajo reservation. When he started first grade, the family moved to Newcomb, on the highway between Shiprock and Farmington. It was here that he has his first memory of drawing.

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More on J.B. Moore and his Disappearance

Monday, April 30, 2018 8:30 AM

More on J.B. Moore and his Disappearance

After our email last week where I stated that J.B. Moore sold the Crystal Trading Post in 1911 and disappeared, possibly as the result of a scandal, I received a couple of emails. This one is from Mike Ryan, co-author of “The Great American Turquoise Rush 1890-1910.

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A Sweet J.B. Moore Crystal Weaving

Friday, April 27, 2018 8:14 AM

A Sweet J.B. Moore Crystal Weaving

We recently came across a very nice example of the type of Navajo rug that was woven in the 1903-1920’s era on the Navajo reservation at the Crystal Trading Post. The post was owned, in fact it was built, by a man named John B. Moore who had traveled much of the west before settling in the beautiful mountain area near the New Mexico and Arizona border. 

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A Unique Yeibichai Weaving by Elizabeth Bitsue

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 7:57 AM

A Unique Yeibichai Weaving by Elizabeth Bitsue

Navajo Yeibichai weavings have been made since the early part of the 1900’s. They depict dancers in a healing or blessing ceremony that is performed after the first frost in the fall. The Yeibichai dancers represent the Yeis, Navajo deities, and are an essential part of the ceremony, which also includes a Navajo medicine man creating sand paintings. 

Weavings depicting the Yei figures first appeared in the Shiprock area of the Navajo reservation. They were encouraged by traders in the area and became a traditional Navajo weaving pattern. The Yeibichai weavings were a natural evolution of the Yei patterns. 

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New Old-Style Katsina Dolls by Chester Poleyestewa

Some years ago, the Hopi Tribal Council decided that the dolls that were called Kachinas should be given their traditional Hopi name of Katsinas.


What I have found is that most carvers still use the term Kachina, and we often do as well. There is no disrespect intended and we try to use whatever the carver prefers. In this writing I will probably go back and forth.

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Blue Corn and My First Experience with Pueblo Pottery

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 11:56 AM

Blue Corn and My First Experience with Pueblo Pottery

In the early 1970’s, I was traveling around the West selling Navajo rugs and Indian jewelry to Indian theme shops, museum stores and National Park outlets.

Several customers in Wyoming, Montana and Colorado asked me if I could obtain Pueblo pottery for them. It was becoming more popular and there was a boom in anything Native American.

I did not know anything about pottery, so I called Suzanne Helzer who owned the Deer Dancer Gallery in Denver. She said, “Go and see Richard Spivey in Santa Fe. He only sells the best.

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Navajo Folk Artist Delbert Buck--He'll Make You Smile!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018 7:31 AM

Navajo Folk Artist Delbert Buck--He'll Make You Smile!

In 1983, when we first moved into our “new” gallery space, we were approached by several Navajo artists selling “Folk Art.” At the time, I was not real interested in it.

Bad mistake! What I didn’t realize was that these artists were really on the cutting edge of a new trend in Native American art. Twenty years later, folk art had become an established and important part of this genre with featured artists being shown at top museums around the Southwest.

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Coral and Turquoise Necklace

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 3:01 PM

Coral and Turquoise Necklace

The coral you find in jewelry really isn’t. It is a calcium carbonate skeleton that is produced by coral polyps that live in clean, rich tropical and subtropical oceans.


Coral has been used for jewelry back some 25-30,000 years. Many people around the Mediterranean, where most of the deep red coral was originally found, used it for jewelry. The Egyptians and Romans place high value on it.

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