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Reassessing Hallmarks of Native Southwest Jewelry: Artists, Traders, Guilds, and the Government

Pat Messier and Kim Messier

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The intensive research undertaken for this valuable book properly identifies forty-five Native American silversmiths and their hallmarks found on Southwest jewelry. Most of the marks date prior to the 1970s and some as early as the 1920s, along with the marks of traders, guilds, and the government. This fascinating read also provides the stories of the artists and institutions represented by these marks. Over 275 color and black-and-white images illustrate the marks in situ on the jewelry, along with images of artists, trading posts, and guild ads. The text explains why and when these marks were used. Among the important Navajo, Hopi, and Pueblo silversmiths whose lives and artworks are explored are Grant Jenkins, Fred Peshlakai, Juan De Dios, Da-Pah, Awa Tsireh, and others. The majority of the talented Indian silversmiths represented here left their homes on the reservation in the early twentieth century to work in cities and tourist venues. The profiles presented also feature a handful of contemporary artists who are recognized as master silversmiths.

Size: 8 1/2" x 11" | 248 | 144 pp
ISBN13: 9780764346705

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Pat Messier and Kim Messier, mother and daughter respectively, are the authors of Hopi & Pueblo Tiles: An Illustrated History (2007). They were guest curators for the exhibit Clay Squared at Arizona State Museum. The greater part of Pat’s career has been spent in the field of American Indian art, in which she has led seminars and managed galleries in Tucson, including Gallery West, until her retirement in 2010. Kim has avidly collected and researched Southwest American Indian arts for thirty years. She has written book reviews about Native Americans and Western history for various periodicals, including Southwest BookViews and Publishers Weekly. They live in Tucson, Arizona.