Arts of Native America
Tips For Collecting and Caring For American IndianArt

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You don’t have to have a fat bank account to build a great collection of Native American Art.  Here are some tips on how to do that, and what we can do to help.

1.  Become Educated.  Visit as many galleries and art shows as you can to learn about artists, their work and their cultures.  We can help visitors to our galleries learn as we have over 51 different tribal cultures represented in our collections.  And, we provide collectors with some great insights through our Trading Post Times, and in the Tips and Tidbits area of our website.

2. Ask Questions.  Don’t be shy. Native American Art is a complex subject, and even the experts don’t have all the answers.  Probably the most important question is, “Is this authentic?”  While we certainly don’t pretend to have all of the answers, feel free to ask us, or e-mail us. If we aren’t ready with an answer to your question, we’ll certainly find the answer for you.

3. Shop for value.  Begin by working with a reputable resource, like River Trading Post, that subscribes to the rigid standards of the Indian Arts and Crafts Association (IACA), and the Antique Tribal Dealers Association (ATADA). Don’t be tricked by equating “deals” and “discounts” with value.  But do take advantage of special gallery offerings such as those included in our
River Trading Post Select collections. This special collection is clearly tagged in each of our galleries.

You also can look at the
Great Finds page on our website to find special items to help kick off a new collection.

4. Stretch Your Budget. Set a budget for yourself, then look for ways to stretch it to help your cash flow.  We help collectors do that through our Collector’s Layaway Program. Many of our collectors take advantage of this interest free program to acquire that special piece that “Speaks to them.”  If you budget a little each month, you can build a nice collection in five to 10 years.  (Even a tiny bathroom can be made into a personally curated exhibit.)

5. Look for emerging artists. Even today’s masters started somewhere in time, and over time their works have appreciated in value.  Many of today’s young artists will become tomorrow’s masters. We work each day with many new artists who show the spark to become tomorrow’s masters. Acquiring works by new artists not only can represent a great buying opportunity, but your art acquisition also helps to support the artists and their families.

6.  Pick a starting point. Diversity is one of the beauties of Native American Art.  Some folks like to focus on a single area, such as Pueblo Pottery.  Others prefer a highly diverse collection that includes representative works of Plains, Navajo, Hopi, Pueblo and many other cultures. A visit with us personally, or to our website, can help to spark a plan for you.