(1917-2012) Harrison Begay was born in 1917 and educated at various schools on the Navajo Nation in northern Arizona. Santa Fe Indian School and at Phoenix Junior College. He served in the U. S. Army in World War II.
Harrison Begay had paintings included in the collections of the Southwest Museum in Pasadena California, the famed Philbrook Art Center, the Gilcrease Museum and the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona to name a few.
One of the best known Navajo painters, Begay's watercolors are known for their delightful colors as well as their charming detail and strong sense of design. Begay is a conservative traditional painter whose work depicts an idealized manner of every segment of Navajo life. In the 1950's Begay co-founded Tewa Enterprises in Santa Fe to sell silkscreen reproductions of his work. Allan Houser, Pop Chalee and Gerald Nailor also sold reproductions through Tewa Enterprises.
Begay was awarded the French Palmes d’Academiques in 1954 and has exhibited worldwide to include a solo exhibition in Japan in 1989. His work is cited in The Biographical Directory of Native American Painters by Patrick D. Lester, The St. James Guide to Native North American Artists, American Indian Painting by Dorothy Dunn, Southwest Indian Painting by Clara Lee Tanner, American Indian Painters by Oscar Jacobson and Jeanne D’Ucel plus another five plus books focused on Native American artists. Harrison Begay's work was included in the exhibit "Beautiful Resistance: Works on Paper from the Heard Museum Collection" May 22 - December. 2005.