Navajo Artist Honored By Indians, Foundation

About 70 professors, students and administrators gathered at the Carpenter Center Monday night to honor noted Navajo artist R.C. Gorman for his contributions to American art and Native American culture.

The reception culminated a day of events jointly sponsored by the Harvard Foundation, a University office which seeks to improve race relations, and American Indians at Harvard-Radcliffe. It was designed to highlight the artist's "prominence, excellence and innovative expression in American art," said Harvard Foundation official Antoinette M. Riley '85.

"It's the perfect example of what the Foundation is intended to do because R.C. Gorman represents the combination of a particular tradition whose art and expression has a universal appeal," said Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III.

Gorman's artwork mostly depicts Navajo women clad in robes or traditional garb. His work is particularly well known in the South-west.

Expert Reaction

"He's probably the most established artist in the Southwest since Georgia O'Keefe died," said Louise J. Harpman '86, a native of Oklahoma City and expert in Southwestern art.

At a luncheon earlier in the day, Gorman was presented with an award citing his outstanding contributions to art and Native American culture means an easy one.

"People who think that an academic life isleisurely as compared to other professions aremisleading themselves. At a major university, withheavy teaching responsibilities, graduate studentsand expectations of research, it's not a leisurelylife," the American history expert says. Althoughhe has consulted for a documentary film and amuseum exhibition, Brinkley says that he does no"serious consulting."

Ph.D.'s now work in fields such as consulting,marketing, banking and government, says Martha C.Leape, Director of the Office of Career Services(OCS). Her office conducts seminars and programsdesigned to introduce Ph.D. 's to theopportunities available to them.

"Ph.D. 's in business say that one of thebenefits of their Ph.D. background over the MBA isthat they can look at the broad picture--thesocial, political and economic factors involved ina decision that truly draw on their Ph.D.backgrounds," Leape says.

Due to a lack of career path studies, Leape wasunable to say what percentage of Ph.D. 's enterbusiness or academics. "Most still go intoacademics immediately, but because we have nofollow up studies, we don't know what Ph.D's aredoing five and ten years after receiving theirdegrees," she says