Rudolph Carl Gorman, a Native American, was born in Chinle, Arizona. During his early years he lived in a Hogan and had little experience with the world beyond the Navajo reservation. He was raised by his grandmother who ignited his ambition by recounting Navajo legends and by acquainting him with his artistic ancestors. In 1958 he received the first scholarship ever given by the Navajo tribe for study outside the United States.
At Mexico City College, Gorman had exposure to the artists Rivera, Siqueiros, and Tamayo, who inspired him to change the direction of his art. He also met Jose Sanchez, a master printer, and, under his direction, made his first lithographs. Gorman has had more than twenty one-man shows and participated in thirty group shows, including the exhibit Masterworks of the American Indian held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (he was the only living artist represented). That museum is one of fourteen American art institutions to include his work in their collections.