R.C. Gorman Room an underused treasure trove

R.C. Gorman Room an underused treasure trove

Navajo Times | Ravonelle Yazzie
The R.C. Gorman Room is located on the second floor of the Diné College Library in Tsaile, Ariz.


You can find R.C. Gorman’s art in galleries and private collections from coast to coast. But he left “a portion of himself” on the reservation, said Rhiannon Sorrell, Diné College’s instruction and digital services librarian.

It is, perhaps, the most revealing portion of himself. On the second floor of the Diné College Library, you will find the R.C. Gorman Room. The inviting round space houses a few of Gorman’s most beloved prints and some busts both by and of Gorman, but the real treasure is along the back wall: the iconic artist’s book collection.

From literature to pop culture, art books to cookbooks (Gorman loved to cook and authored two cookbooks with his longtime housekeeper, Virginia Dooley) and murder mysteries, the hundreds of volumes give an insight into Gorman’s soul. And you can sit in the inviting, peaceful space and browse them all you want.

“I don’t think most students even know this is here,” lamented Sorrell.

That’s one reason the Navajo Cultural Arts Program, which is headquartered in the Gorman Room, decided to hold its latest exhibit of Navajo silverwork there, said Christine Ami, grant administrator for the program. “We even had a silverworking demonstration on the landing right outside the room, so people studying on the lower level would hear it and be attracted up here,” Ami said.

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About The Author

Cindy Yurth

Cindy Yurth is the Tséyi' Bureau reporter, covering the Central Agency of the Navajo Nation. Her other beats include agriculture and Arizona state politics. She holds a bachelor’s degree in technical journalism from Colorado State University with a cognate in geology. She has been in the news business since 1980 and with the Navajo Times since 2005, and is the author of “Exploring the Navajo Nation Chapter by Chapter.” She can be reached at cyurth@navajotimes.com.


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