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Fritz Scholder

Fritz Scholder

American, Luiseño, 1937 - 2005

Fritz Scholder was one of the first Native American artists to enter the mainstream art market. He is recognized for shattering the conservative mold that confined Indian artists for half a century. Scholder was born in Breckenridge, Minnesota on October 6, 1937. His biggest influence was Wayne Thiebaud, his instructor at Sacramento City College, where he received his B.A in 1960. After completing a M.F.A. at the University of Arizona in 1964, Scholder began to teach at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Once he left teaching, he traveled to North Africa and Europe, where he visited the Tate Gallery in London. It was after this that Scholder changed some iconography of the American Indian. Instead of romanticizing the noble savage, Scholder painted Native Americans as marginal and devastated outsiders in American Culture.The exhibition Indian/Not Indian was mounted concurrently at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. and the original Haye Center Museum in New York. His work is in the collections of major museums in America and the world including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Bibliotheque Nationale de France; the Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum, Santa Fe, New Mexico; and the New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe. The Institute of American Indian Arts has honored Fritz Scholder with the naming of the Fritz Scholder Gallery. (Scully 2014)