R.C. Gorman was a celebrated Navajo artist whose graceful paintings, sculptures, and lithographs—many of them featuring Native American women—earned him an international reputation. He took inspiration from Mexican social realists, like Diego Rivera and Rufino Tamayo and used abstract forms and shapes to create his own unique, personal realistic style. In 1973 the Metropolitan Museum of Art included a number of his works in an exhibition on Native American art, where he was the only living artist included. In 1986 Harvard University honored Gorman for his “notable contributions to American art and Native American culture.”
Gorman was born in Chinle, Arizona, where he was raised in a traditional Navajo hogan and could always be found drawing. He served in the US Navy and later attended NAU with a minor in art. He then went from Arizona, to Mexico, to California, and then finally ending up in New Mexico where he opened the first Native American-owned art gallery.