Michael J Ettema, ISA


Michael J Ettema
ISA member since Nov 01, 2013

(505) 231-8293 (Office)

6 Casa del Oro Way
Santa Fe, NM 87508 map

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Michael Ettema has 29 years of experience with American Fine and Decorative Arts as a museum curator, educator, and director, plus 10 years of experience with Native American Arts and Western American Fine Art as a retail gallery director.  He is the owner of Art Appraisals of Santa Fe.

Michael offers three areas of expertise based on his work as both scholar and dealer:

·      Native American arts of the Southwest including textiles, pottery, jewelry, baskets, Kachinas, paintings, and drawings.

·      Fine art of the American West from the 19th through the 21st centuries including paintings, drawings, prints, and sculpture.

·      American decorative arts of the 17th through the 21st centuries including furniture, silver, ceramics, lighting, and folk art.

Michael also offers curatorial consulting for individuals and institutions including: research and inventory, collections planning, assistance with buying and selling, and scholarly writing.  Michael does not buy, sell, or broker and does not have a resale tax license.

Michael received his MA from the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture at the University of Delaware and completed PhD coursework in UD’s Winterthur Program in the History of American Civilization.  Both programs specialize in the study of American material culture through history, sociology, art, technology, and connoisseurship.

Michael’s museum career included appointments as Research Curator at the Grand Rapids Public Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Curator of Domestic Life (American decorative arts) and William Clay Ford Curator of Design History at Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan.  He also served as Executive Director of Desert Caballeros Western Museum in Wickenburg, Arizona.

Michael served as the Santa Fe Director of Medicine Man Gallery, Inc. for ten years before opening Art Appraisals of Santa Fe in 2013. Medicine Man Gallery specializes in Western fine art and Southwest Native American arts.

Michael’s professional activities include authorship of 30 articles on American decorative arts, Native America arts, and American history for anthologies and periodicals including Winterthur Portfolio, Art & Antiques, Western Art Collector, and Canyon Road Arts.  He has lectured on American decorative arts and American history at more than a dozen institutions and conferences including University of Michigan, Smithsonian Institution, DeYoung Museum, University of Newfoundland, Wadsworth Atheneum, and Organization of American Historians.  He also has assisted museums around the country with collections plans, historic interiors furnishings plans, and exhibition plans including National Park Service, Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, Louisiana State Museum, and the Newark Museum.


  • American Indian Art
  • Art
  • Decorative Arts & Accessories
  • Paintings - 19th Century
  • Paintings - 20th Century


  • Consultant
  • Divorce Settlements
  • Equitable Distribution
  • Insurance Claims
  • Non-Cash Charitable Donations

Performs Appraisals Of

  • American Indian Art
  • Art - American
  • Decorative Arts & Accessories


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