Art/ Libraries and Research Centers/ Thomas J. Watson Library/ Research/ Index of Indigenous and Native American Artists

Index of Indigenous and Native American Artists

The Index of Indigenous and Native American Artists (IINAA) is a research aid for identifying publications in Watsonline, the online catalog of the Metropolitan Museum of Art libraries, by and about Native and Indigenous artists whose ancestral lands are in the contiguous United States, Alaska, and Canada. The Index is intended to be a guide for navigating the library's holdings, and not an authoritative list of all artists within this demographic.

Inclusion in the Index indicates that an artist's name appears in one or more Watsonline records. Artists are included based on self-identification, scholarship, or other public acknowledgement of their Native or Indigenous heritage.

Click the A diagonally-oriented, two-headed arrow used to enter full screen mode on the Dashboard. expand icon to view the index in full screen mode.

Entries for each artist include hyperlinks to: customized Watsonline searches; Wikipedia entries (as available) to facilitate discovery and introductions to the artist’s work; relevant artworks within The Met’s collection; and entries found in the Native American Artists Resource Collection Online (NAARCO). Created and maintained by The Heard Museum’s Billie Jane Baguley Library and Archives in Phoenix, Arizona, NAARCO offers online access to the world’s largest database of Native American artists. NAARCO contains entries for nearly 25,000 artists, offering biographical information including alternative name forms, heritage/tribal affiliation, and specialties and artistic mediums for which an artist is known.

Artists may appear in additional publications held by Watson Library beyond the ones shown through the Watsonline search links referenced above: catalog records for group exhibition catalogs and general surveys rarely list all artists represented. Additionally, journal and periodical contents are not indexed within Watsonline and should be searched by publication title. As such, we recommend searching directly in Watsonline for artists not listed in the Index. Researchers wishing to do more comprehensive research may benefit from consulting NAARCO and other databases.

Breakdown by Geographic Region

Due to the nuances of Native and Indigenous identity, as well as the complexities involved in reconciling how individuals and groups self-identify and refer to themselves (endonyms) versus how others refer to them (exonyms), it is impossible to assign standardized terms that would be preferred by everyone within each specific group. For this reason, we have chosen to offer filter categories by geographic region rather than specific tribe or other heritage group. For guidance in determining the geographic region in which a particular tribe is included, researchers are advised to consult the Tribal Directory of the National Congress of American Indians. In this index, geographic regions refer to the land area associated with an artist’s heritage, and not necessarily where the artist currently lives and/or works. 

We recognize that identity is intersectional and that many of these artists claim heritages beyond their indigeneity that are inherent to their being and their practice. To explore this intersectionality, use the cross-referencing feature to limit your search to artists that appear on multiple Watson Library indexes. 


A Living Document

This resource is made to evolve over time: artists will be added on a periodic basis as we acquire more titles, become aware of additional artists and publications already in the collection, and continue to enhance our catalog records. We encourage researchers to share with us via email the names of additional Native and Indigenous artists represented in Watsonline to be added to this resource, as well as suggestions for revisions or corrections to the published information.

In addition to facilitating awareness, discoverability, and wider use of Watson’s collection, by sharing this index we hope that scholars, collectors, publishers, and artists will easily identify and notify us of significant omissions and missing titles. Offers and donations of publications not held, and/or funds to acquire them, are welcomed and appreciated. To support this initiative directly, please contact Jared Ash (jared.ash@metmuseum.org). 

Guidance and Assistance 

Reference help is available through Watson Library via email or online chat. Chat assistance is available Monday through Friday, 10am-4pm EST, by visiting Watsonline and selecting the Ask a Librarian pop-up on the right of the screen.   

For help via email, or other questions, comments, corrections, or concerns, please contact us at watson.library@metmuseum.org.   

Acknowledgements

This index has been made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan, in support of an initiative to assess, expand, and promote access to the library’s collection of publications by and about Indigenous and Native American artists. This project builds upon earlier library initiatives to raise the visibility of artists from marginalized communities in the Met Libraries, including the creation of an Index of Black Artists of North America, the Index of Asian American and Pacific Islander Artists, and the Index of Latinx and Hispanic American Artists.  

Project members for this index are Amanda Raquel Dorval, Kim Ross, Daisy Paul, Jared Ash, and Loyalty Traster-Lee. Additional assistance has been provided by Mia Ciallella, Raymond Lei, Helice Koffler, Kai McGinn, Elizabeth Schneider, Chuck Werner, Susan Appel, and Irina Zaionts. 

Image (from Research page): attributed to Albert Edward Edenshaw, Raven rattle, ca. 1850.