Ray Swanson

Ray Swanson – explore von Essen Galerie for the artist reproduction wall art prints. Whether it be wall prints or other art media you will find just what you are looking for.

Swanson was an American painter known for his portraits of the Navajo people. He was born in Alcester, SD in 1937.  Swanson was an engineer who taught himself to paint as an adult.

Ray became the most famous for his portraits of the Navajo elders and the Navajo children dressed in their colorful native attire. Ray made regular driving trips to the Navajo Reservation, which was a 3-hour drive from their home in Prescott, AZ.  He and his family moved to Arizona in 1973 because he realized that he needed to visit the Native American tribes of the southwest as frequently as possible. Ray wanted to observe them in their surroundings and have them model for him for the paintings. Eventually, he painted the Hopi, Pima, Apache and Nez Perce of Idaho and Sioux Indians. At this same time Ray was painting the ranching cowboys near their Prescott, AZ home.

Ray Swanson 1937-2004



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