|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|A Navajo Indian, Carl Gorman ultimately settled in a trailer-studio in
Fort Defiance, Arizona where he turned out paintings of horses and
other subjects. He spent much of World War II in the Pacific as
one of 29 Navajo code talkers who successfully stymied the
Japanese. Stationed in Guadalcanal, Tarawa, and Saipan, he and
his fellow code talkers earned much recognition for their significant
role in winning the war in the Pacific because the Japanese found no
method to decipher the 'code', which was the Navajo language.|
Gorman was born October 5, 1907 on the Navajo reservation in Chinle,
Arizona to Nelson Gorman and Alice Peshlakai, both Navajos. His
parents were founders of the Presbyterian Mission at Chinle, and his
father was a cattleman and Indian trader. His mother taught weaving and
also translated many Christian hymns into Navajo. Young Gorman showed
early art talent but was warned by his father that no money was to be
made with art.
Gorman attended Rehoboth Mission in Gallup, New
Mexico and there was punished for using his own language. He
graduated from Albuquerque High School and attended Otis Art Institute
in Los Angeles and also took classes at Santa Monica Technical School
and South Bay Adult School. He returned to Chinle and went into
the trucking business with his brother until 1936, and then worked
numerous jobs including rangerider, land manager, and clerk in an
Indian jewelry store.
After the war, he spent time in
California as a technical illustrator for Douglas Aircraft and co-owner
of a silkscreen company. He also taught art at the University of
California at Davis.
His son was R.C. Gorman, famous Taos, New Mexico artist.
Southwest Art magazine
Jeanne Snodgrass, American Indian Painters
|Biography from CN Gorman Museum:|
|Founded in 1973 by the Department of Native American Studies, the C.N.
Gorman Museum is named in honor of retired faculty member, Carl Nelson
Gorman, Navajo artist, WWII code-talker, cultural historian, and
advocate for Native peoples. |
As a founding faculty member of Native American Studies, Gorman was the
first faculty member to teach Native American art at UC Davis in
1969. It is in his honor that we encourage an understanding of
Indigenous protocol, territories and knowledge.
|** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.|