By Kathleen Rowley Steward
Walking in Michael Gorman’s sun-filled, laid-back gallery, one can see into three generations of his Navajo family’s collection. The Gorman family line is an eclectic mix of military heroism, soaring visual art success — and controversy.
Michael is the nephew of international art star, Rudolph Carl “R.C.” Gorman (1931-2005).
The second annual R.C. Gorman Days celebration is planned this weekend (July 26-28) in the emerging Main Street District of Taos. The event spearheaded by the Taos Arts Council encompasses various talks, historic walking tours on Ledoux Street and “Past Meets Present” pop-up art exhibit outside at the Blumenschein Home and Museum’s courtyard from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (July 27-28).
There is every right for Michael Gorman, the Taos Art Council, the Harwood Museum of Art and others in Taos to honor R.C.’s legacy. His larger-than-life persona was known the world over. His artwork is found in major museums, galleries and exclusive private collections. The New York Times referred to him as “the Picasso of American Indian artists.” But, the reality is that his life was touched by controversy that continues to hang over him like a fog refusing to burn off.
In his later years, R.C. was accused of pedophilia and investigated by the FBI. Although the case was dismissed, innocent until proven guilty still leaves room for a marred reputation.
According to reports in KRQE-TV, channel 13, and the Santa Fe New Mexican in 2006, the FBI “uncovered credible evidence that Gorman participated in child sexual abuse.” The report said, however, that the five-year statute of limitations on criminal prosecution had expired on the “only provable cases,” according to media reports at the time. The U.S. attorney for the New Mexico district at the time, Norman Bay, said continuing the investigation would make it appear that Gorman…
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