Contemporary Southwestern Jewelry
Challenging the traditional look of Native American turquoise and polished silver, a group of contemporary Southwest artists are creating stunning jewelry using rough metals and stones of all kinds. Abstract configurations twist through wristbands, weave through necklaces, and transform the art of jewelry making. Beginning in the early 1950s, Hopi artist Charles Loloma, Navajo silversmith Kenneth Begay, Mexican/Mission jeweler Preston Monongye, and others emerged with a new style of Native American jewelry. Contemporary Southwestern Jewelry delves into their lives, allowing us to better understand their revolutionary motives, methods, and sources of inspiration. Native American jewelry of today, though carved, cast, and stamped much differently from its predecessors, still celebrates the freedom and beauty found in nature that have been interpreted by American Indians for thousands of years.
Diana Pardue is author of Shared Images: The Innovative Jewelry of Yazzie Johnson and Gail Bird (2007) and The Cutting Edge: Southwest Jewelry and Metalwork (1997). She has written articles about jewelry for Ornament, American Indian Art, and Frontdoors magazines. She is curator of collections at the Heard Museum, where she has worked since 1978.
Jacket design: Kurt Hauser
Jacket photos (c) 2007 Heard Museum
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