Adkins began collecting in the 1960s, when American southwestern art enjoyed a resurgence in popularity. Ultimately his holdings encompassed works by such distinguished American artists as Maynard Dixon, Dorothy Eugenie Brett, Charles Bird King, Alfred Jacob Miller, Charles M. Russell, and Joseph H. Sharp. In addition, Adkins was a passionate and prescient connoisseur of Native American art and artifacts, and his wide-ranging collection of works by Native artists includes paintings by T. C. Cannon, sculpture by María Martínez, and jewelry by Charles Loloma, all of which are represented in this book.
Along with its rich photographic sampling of works by Native and non-Native artists, The Eugene B. Adkins Collection offers informative essays by art historians and curators, whose areas of expertise coincide with Adkins’s own interests. The volume also features a foreword by David L. Boren, President of the University of Oklahoma, and a preface by Randall Suffolk, Director of the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, and Ghislain D’Humieres, Director of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma. These two museums, which share a commitment to preserving Native American art and artifacts, are joint stewards of the Eugene B. Adkins Collection.