Accessibility mode is enabled

Skip to Top / Tab to View Menu Options
Skip to Left Navigation / Tab to View Content

Harry FonsecaHarry Fonseca


Harry Fonseca was born in Sacramento, California in 1946 of Nisenan Maidu, Hawaiian, and Portuguese heritage. He is best known for a series of work he began in 1979 that depicted coyotes in non-traditional settings. In 1981 he illustrated the book titled, “Legends of the Yosemite Miwok,” compiled by Frank LaPena and Craig Bates. Fonseca was also profoundly influenced by the California Gold Rush.  He created a series of abstract paintings representing the effect of the gold rush on Native Americans.  Fonseca wrote that this series of paintings are "a direct reference to the physical, emotional and spiritual genocide of the native people of California.”  The series was exhibited at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento and the Oakland Museum. His work is held in the collections of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in New York City, the Denver Art Museum, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art (Indianapolis, Indiana),Ethnological Museum of Berlin, the Heard Museum (Phoenix, Arizona), the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Hood Museum of Art (Dartmouth College, New Hampshire), and the Linden Museum (Stuttgart, Germany), among many others.