Cowboys and Indians

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Cowboys and Indians

Residents of Arizona are familiar with the Basha grocery empire. But not all are aware of the Basha family’s cultural legacy.

At Basha corporate headquarters in Chandler, Arizona, resides a phenomenal museum of Western American art, the Selma Basha Salmeri Gallery, named after the aunt who inspired Eddie Basha’s lifelong love affair with art.

A small sampling of the extensive collection of over 3500 items:

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El Encuentro by Paul Pletka

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by Harrison Begay

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Bowl, carved from wood and polished

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Many panels of drawings of kachinas by Cecil Calnimptewa

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A whole cabinet of fetishes, small animal carvings representing the spirits of the animals, and believed to have special powers.

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by Bruce Green

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Cowboy lighting his cigarette with a branding iron

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Breaking Wild Horses by John Clymer

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Devil’s Gate by John Clymer

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The White Buffalo by John Clymer

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The Peace Pipe by John Clymer

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To get the full effect of this beautiful, detailed sculpture, it’s necessary to walk around it and view it from several angles.

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Is it just me, or does the kachina on the left below resemble Rodin’s The Thinker?

And does the kachina on the left below resemble Rodin’s The Kiss?

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I’ve enjoyed the Native American art at The Heard Museum in Phoenix, but I have a new appreciation for the cowboy artists as a result of seeing their work up close. If you’re ever in the area, make a point to stop and see the Eddie Basha Collection.

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