American Indians •  Anthropology and Art

$19.95 hardcover

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Under the Palace Portal: Native American Artists in Santa Fe

Karl Hoerig

The daily Native American art market at the Palace of the Governors is Santa Fe, New Mexico's most popular tourist attraction. Known as the Portal Program for its location under the front portal, or porch, of the Palace, the program is descended from informal markets held in the same location since the mid-nineteenth century. Officially recognized as an educational program by the Museum of New Mexico, the Portal is reserved for Native artists who display and sell work they and members of their families have made.

It is more than just a good place to sell authentic indigenous art. The Portal is a Native American-controlled workplace that supports hundreds of families throughout New Mexico. As a museum program, it is an instructive example of how Native people and state institutions can work together to promote understanding and to support indigenous cultures. The Portal is also a place of dynamic interaction among a diverse group of Native American artists and visitors from around the world.

Karl Hoerig has worked collaboratively with the program's participants since 1995. Utilizing extensive interview extracts, this history and ethnography explores the Portal from the inside out.


Karl A. Hoerig holds a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Arizona. He is the director of Nohwike’ Bágowa, the White Mountain Apache Cultural Center and Museum at Fort Apache, Arizona.


" Under the Palace Portal approaches the widely studied subject of tourism in the Southwest from a different perspective by giving voice to native artists. Hoerig's study shows that the view is quite different looking out from the palace portal."


Montana Magazine

"This book is notably important in that it chronicles the artists' memories. Hoerig does this in a manner that honors the participants as multidimensional human beings, whose struggles are made evident to the reader. (Hoerig) dispels any sterotypical notion of the artist as a traditionalistic creator. . . . Ultimately, we gain an understanding of the complex human life and artistic talent that is testament to the dynamic energy of the Portal Program."


Journal of Arizona History

"Refreshingly readable, insightfully argued, and well-researched, Karl Hoerig's Under the Palace Portal: Native American Artists in Santa Fe offers an in-depth look at one of Santa Fe's most important tourist attractions, the Portal Program. . . . Hoerig has provided more than just a fine history of a local phenomenon; he has described a program that could serve as a model for Native artists across the country."


American Indian Culture and Research Journal

"Enlightening and enjoyable to read."


New Mexico Historical Review

6 x 9 in. 280 pages 7 halftones, 1 maps