The Frank R. LaPena Papers (1900-2013) include subject files on topics concerning Native Americans, in particular, California
Indians. Topics include institutions, people, programs, laws, and events. In addition, files relating to his time teaching
and participating in campus programs at Sacramento State University since the late 1960s are part of the collection. The collection
is rich with records documenting Frank LaPena’s involvement with various public and community projects, organizations, and
activities, among them the Alliance for California Traditional Arts, American Indian Historical Society, Atlatl, California
Arts Council, California Commemorative Seals Advisory Committee, California Indian Education Association, California State
Capitol Commission, California State Indian Museum, and Native American Heritage Commission. A significant portion of the
collection deals with LaPena’s artistic work and philosophy, his participation in museum and art gallery exhibitions, both
national and international, and his scholarly contributions to the art world and art criticism, especially as it concerns
contemporary Native American art.
Frank LaPena was born on October 5, 1937 in San Francisco, California to parents of the Wintu-Nomtipom tribe of Native Americans.
He was sent away to live at a federal American Indian boarding school when he was 5 years old and he stayed there until after
he graduated from high school in 1956. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Chico State University in 1965 and did
graduate work at San Francisco State University as well as California State University, Sacramento (CSUS), where he received
his Master of Arts in Anthropology in 1978.
Copyright is protected by the copyright law, Chapter 17 of the U.S. Code. Requests for permission to publish, quote, or reproduce
from collections must be submitted in writing to the Head of the Department of Special Collections and University Archives.
Permission for publication is given on the behalf of the Department of Special Collections and University Archives, Library,
California State University, Sacramento as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include permission of the
copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.