Object photography

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Object description

  • Emmi Whitehorse (DinĂ© (Navajo), birth 1957)
  • Early Untitled #1, 1982
  • Oil and graphite on paper
  • Southwestern United States
  • H: 22 in, image W: 30 in
  • Museum Purchase, 2000
  • E300524
  • Reveals artist's close connection to Navajo lands
  • Creates tactile surface through layering

Whitehorse spent her childhood on the Navajo reservation, tending sheep and gathering plants for dyes and medicine. Her work draws from this intimate relationship to the land and also from plant forms, fibers, basket shapes, and weaving tools.


signed LR in graphite 'E. Whitehorse'


This painting is composed of many tonal areas of color and abstract designs. Shades of yellow, orange and pink create layers of color and texture. At the right, a yellow semicircle floats near a vertical striped line. The line has a red triangle imposed over it and another floats at the upper right. To the left, a large red oval nears the papers top edge, while an arrow faces toward the left edge of the canvas. A black 'X' appears near the bottom edge of the paper. Various brush strokes, small geometric forms, and pencil lines and sketches are apparent throughout.

Exhibition History

  • Uncommon Legacies: Native American Art from the Peabody Essex Museum, Washington State Historical Society; October 11, 2005 through February 09, 2006
  • Power and Beauty: A New Native American Art Gallery at the Peabody Essex Museum, Peabody Essex Museum; 2003 through 2005


Ms. Emmi Whitehorse