Event Details

Location: Tucson, AZ



Friday, March 3, 2017

BAHTI Indian Arts

Mark Bahti will talk about the fascinating myths, legends, and intriguing truths of how the business of Southwest Indian arts and crafts has evolved (and continues to evolve) since the horse and buggy days of the late 1800’s to the FaceBook era of the 21st century.  The Bahti family’s history is a story of creating and marketing the “vanishing Indian,” horse-racing as an inter-cultural event, multi-generational trading relationships, and preservation of ancient traditions and values.

Mark Bahti has the respect and admiration of his worldwide clientele – those who are passionate about the U. S. Southwest.  He is a leader in his field of Indian arts and has worked hard to deserve his flawless reputation.  Mark’s name is synonymous with the finest of quality and authenticity in the Indian arts.  He offers treasures from both contemporary artisans and is steeped in knowledge of those treasures with historical provenance   His galleries, in both Tucson and Santa Fe, are magnets to those who desire to learn more about the tangible and non-tangible aspects of our fascinating past.  His stores are filled with the authentic and spellbinding history of our Southwest.

Mark inherited and built upon many of the generational bonds with the artisans from his father, Tom, who was an archeologist and author and began the “business.”  Tom would be brimming with pride if he could see how his son, Mark, has contributed to the family legacy in the role of researcher, author, and friend to the Native Americans.  Mark took over upon Tom’s death in 1972 and continues to run the stores with his wife, artist Emmi Whitehorse.  Together they opened a second shop in Santa Fe in 2007.  Some of the artists with whom they work are the great-great grandchildren of artisans who sold to his father Tom.

A researcher/author, like his father, Mark has written a number of books as well, including A Consumer’s Guide to Southwest Indian Art, Pueblo Stories and Storytellers, Navajo Sandpainting Art, Collecting Southwest Native American Jewelry, Southwest Indian Weaving, Southwest Indian Designs, Spirit in the Stone (a book on animal carvings and fetishes), and most recently, Stone and Silver.  He is also working on a book about pottery artists) and an expanded revision of Spirit in the Stone, a book on the history of Southwest Indian jewelry.  Mark has promised to bring some of his books for us to look at.

Like his father before him, he continues to be involved with Indian-run organizations addressing education, health, and employment issues.  He is a long-time board member of the Tucson Indian Center and the Chairman of the Institute of American Indian Arts’ Foundation in Santa Fe.  He also serves on the Board of the Amerind Foundation and was just appointed to the Board of the Southwest Association on Indian Affairs, which runs the famed Santa Fe Indian Market.  

The lore of Tucson would not be complete without the Bahtis….and now we have the opportunity to meet Mark, himself at

2200 E Elm Street (between Campbell and Tucson Blvd)
Free parking across the street from the main entrance

$30.00 at the door (cash or check – made out to the “Yale Club”)
Registration starts at 11:30 AM at The Arizona Inn (Tucson Room)
Lunch will be served at Noon
When you RSVP, tell us if you would prefer the vegetarian/vegan selection.  Since this is a plated luncheon, the main course for the attendees (including rolls, salad, dessert, and coffee or tea) will be the Chef’s Choice.  (If you select the V/V entree, you are committed to the fresh fruit for dessert.)

RSVP:  RSVP to Marianne Kaestle at yaleclub.ariz@icloud.com by February 27, 2017.

Please treat your reservation as a commitment and notify us if you are unable to attend. Thank you.
Marianne Kaestle
Yale Club of Southern Arizona
Director of Communications

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