MNA Research Associate Prof. Atsunori Ito (National Museum of Ethnology, Japan) leads a comprehensive and collaborative review of MNA’s Hopi silver jewelry collection with participation of several expert contemporary Hopi silversmiths.
In the 1930s and 40s, MNA’s founder, Mary-Russell Ferrell Colton, and fine arts curator Virgil Hubert worked with Hopi artists Paul Saufkie and Fred Kabotie to design distinctively Hopi jewelry styles and techniques. Saufkie and Kabotie joined with Hopi veterans of World War II to found the Hopi Silvercraft Cooperative Guild.
Though the Guild is gone, its traditions continue. Contemporary Hopi silversmiths study the MNA collection with their students and create new works inspired by historical pieces. MNA researchers are planning new publications and programming based on our work.