Police Find $33,000 Worth of Art By Native American Artist Alfred Morris Momaday in Meth Lab

Police in Albuquerque, New Mexico were surprised to discover a portfolio containing 72 prints by the Native American artist Alfred Morris Momaday in a former meth lab, the Guardian reports. According to the officers, the $33,000 prints were probably stolen.

An officer at Albuquerque Police Department was performing a final check of the derelict building before boarding it up, when he stumbled upon the artworks.

Although police aren’t certain that the art was stolen, the location of the discovery is suspicious. Tanner Tixier, a spokesman for the APD told the Albuquerque Journal “The house where it was found would not be conducive to the type of environment where you’d find $30,000 worth of art.”

The officer who found the prints brought the portfolio to the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History for safekeeping. Curator Andrew Connors remarked that it is unlikely that the prints were taken from a private collection because the portfolio includes several editions of the same four prints. He speculated that “They may have been stolen out of a warehouse or a back storage building behind a gallery or an artist’s estate.”

Alfred Morris Momaday’s son, the Pulitzer Prize winning author N. Scott Momaday, discovered that some of his belongings, including a computer and boxes of his father’s work, may have gone missing from his Santa Fe a storage facility in December. He chose not to report the missing items because he wasn’t sure what had gone missing. His assistant explained that Momaday junior’s father “had a vast amount of work.”

Alfred Scott Momaday is one of the most famous Native American artists. His son described him as “A full-blooded Kiowa Indian and a really primitive-style painter … He went on to make a sound reputation.”

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
Article topics
Subscribe or log in to read the rest of this content.

You are currently logged into this Artnet News Pro account on another device. Please log off from any other devices, and then reload this page continue. To find out if you are eligible for an Artnet News Pro group subscription, please contact [email protected]. Standard subscriptions can be purchased on the subscription page.

Log In