The artworks in this collection were produced by artists from the Pueblo and Plains American Indian cultures in the early twentieth century. The works demonstrate a number of very fine examples of the broad aesthetic of American Indian Modern painting: they are representational, depicting flat figures with clear outlines and unadorned backgrounds. While primarily produced for outside audiences, the works are distinctly 'Native' in terms of their function as historical records of Indian life in the early twentieth century.
The works in this collection form part of the Hartley Burr Alexander Collection of American Indian Artwork. The Plains works were likely collected before 1938, as some of them are published in Sioux Indian Painting (Nice, FR: C. Szwedzicki). The collection dates of the Pueblo paintings are unknown, but were likely collected before 1932, when Alexander published his portfolio Pueblo Indian Painting (Nice, FR: C. Szwedzicki). The artworks were given to the Claremont Colleges in 1943, after Dr. Alexander's death. The works were then transferred to Denison Library in 2004 to be housed with other Hartley Burr Alexander collections.