Archaeology Center honors Paul Dyck with Art Show

Paul Dyck (left) and 1980 Water Girl of Zuni. Courtesy Paul Dyck Foundation

Paul Dyck (left) and 1980 Water Girl of Zuni. Courtesy Paul Dyck Foundation

The Verde Valley Archaeology Center (VVAC) has announced the inauguration of the Paul Dyck Celebration of Archaeology in Art show and sale as part of the annual Verde Valley Archaeology Fair.

The Paul Dyck Celebration of Archaeology in Art Show and Sale will become an annual event as part of the weekend-long Camp Verde Spring Heritage Festival that includes the Verde Valley Archaeology Fair, the Spring Pecan and Wine Festival, and the Verde River Runoff.

The Festival has become a Sedona/Verde Valley area favorite and will again take place in heart of historic Camp Verde, Arizona. Last year’s event drew crowds of more than 5,000.

The art show is being named after Paul Dyck (1917-2006), a local artist and descendant of Sir Anthony Van Dyck (1599-1641). Having grown up among various Plains Indian tribes, Paul was well known for his paintings depicting Native American life. He was given the name “Rainbow Hand” by the Sioux, among whom he lived for many years.

Past people have shaped the landscape of the Sedona/Verde Valley area. They left their mark through their dwellings, markings on rock, and the terracing of the landscape. Art can provide a visual interpretation of the landscape of these past people along with the scientific interpretation of archaeology.

The goal of this Celebration is to demonstration the relevance that the past has for today’s contemporary artists that are evoked by the art and artifacts of our ancestors.

The theme is “Art Inspired by Archaeology and Archaeology as Art.” Subject matter is limited to archaeological subjects, including ancient dwellings, rock markings (rock art), landscapes, or art inspired by the ancient American Southwest textiles and pottery.

The Celebration is a juried show open to all artists 18 years and older. Accepted medium include original, contemporary, representational art including oil, pastel, watercolor, acrylic, mixed media, bronze and wood sculpture, pottery, fiber arts and photography.

Awards will be given for Best in Show in meeting the theme, Award of Excellence, People’s Choice and Awards of Merit. Full details for artists to apply can be found on the website at

Special Paul Dyck Original Artwork Display

Ken Zoll, Executive Director of the Center stated: “While most of our attention on Paul Dyck revolves around the phenomenal artifact collection that we were fortunate to receive from his family, we should not lose sight of the fact that he was a famous and accomplished artist.” While in southern Alberta, the family lived with the Blackfoot Tribe, a situation that began Paul’s life-long interest in the Plains Indian culture.

During his lifetime, he lived among the Cheyenne, Blackfoot, Crow, Oto, Pawnee, Kiowa, Comanche, Zuni, Navajo, Hopi and Apache.

Paul’s family returned to Europe in 1921. Being descendants of Sir Anthony Van Dyck, his family decided that Paul was to train to be an artist. At age 12 he was sent to apprentice with his Uncle Johann van Skramlick, a well-known European portrait painter. At 15 he trained at the Munich Academy.

Paul returned to New York in 1934, where he stayed for about three weeks, but then went to South Dakota to see his friend, One Elk, a Lakota Sioux holy man. Paul married One Elk’s daughter, Fawn. It was during his time living with the Sioux people that they gave him the name Rainbow Hand, an appropriate name for a person who created beautiful paintings.

In 1935 Paul’s wife died in childbirth. In despair, he traveled by motorcycle throughout the West for the next several years, returning to the East in winter to do freelance illustration work.

While he was travelling on his motorcycle he would make Indian sketches and sell them for 50 cents, or trade them for meals and other necessities. Paul settled in Rimrock in 1938.

Using his earnings from advertising illustration work, he purchased a 312-acre ranch that had fallen into disrepair. He worked on the ranch until 1942, when he went into the Navy, returning to his ranch after World War II. He spent the rest of his life working the ranch, raising horses and planting crops, as well as painting in his studio on the ranch.

In 1953, Paul took up painting as a full-time career. He largely painted on board in the Old Master tradition or utilized the Japanese Sumi-e ink techniques, but he also worked with acrylics and watercolor.

Paul became well-known as a painter and ultimately had 65 one-man exhibitions all over the country, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Tucson. In 1984, the Sedona Art Center held a retrospective show of his works. His paintings are included in the collection of the Phoenix Art Museum, the Museum of Northern Arizona, and the Tucson Museum of Art.

In 2016, the Paul Dyck Foundation Research Institute of American Indian Culture gave the Center three original paintings. One has been on display at the Center near the artifact collection. As part of Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month, the family has graciously loaned three additional paintings for temporary display that will run through the month of March.

The Center is located at 385 S. Main St., Camp Verde. The museum exhibits are open free to the public Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Additional information on the Center’s activities is available at, or by calling 928-567-0066.


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