Contemporary Native American jewelry artists of the Southwest build upon centuries-long traditions of stonework and silversmithing—knowledge that is often passed on within families.

Since the mid-20th century, there has been an explosion of creativity and experimentation. Recognized internationally as innovators of Modern jewelry design between the 1950s and 1970s, Preston Monongye, Kenneth Begay, and Charles Loloma created artworks with bold patterns and outstanding craftsmanship. They redefined how silver, turquoise, and gemstones could convey Hopi and Navajo aesthetics and introduced new approaches for high fashion. The next generations of innovators, including those shown here, have continued to experiment with new materials and reimagined traditional forms.

Julian Lovato (Kewa Pueblo/Santo Domingo Pueblo), Necklace, ca. 1980s Silver, turquoise, 9 x 7 in., 1/8 in. (22.9 x 17.8 cm, 0.3 cm) Purchase 2017 Mr. and Mrs. William V. Griffin Fund and Thomas L. Raymond Bequest Fund | 2017.57.5 

Richard Chavez (San Felipe Pueblo), Bolo Tie, 2017. 18K gold, semi‑precious stones, 22 x 3/4 in. (55.9 x 1.9 cm). Purchase 2018 Mr. and Mrs. William V. Griffin Fund, Contemporary Art Society of Great Britain Fund, and Thomas L. Raymond Bequest Fund | 2018.6

Clarence Lee (Diné/Navajo), Bracelet, ca. 1998‑2005. Silver, mother of pearl, turquoise, onyx, gold, copper, 5 1/4 in. x 1 3/8 in. x 1 11/16 in. (13.3 cm x 3.5 cm x 4.3 cm). Gift of Barbara Livenstein, 2017 | 2017.67.117

Connie Tsosie‑Gaussoin (Picuris Pueblo and Diné/Navajo), Bracelet, ca. 1995. Silver, turquoise, 5 1/8 in. X 1 11/16 in. x 1 5/8 in. (13 cm x 4.3 cm x 4.1 cm). Gift of Barbara Livenstein, 2017 | 2017.67.114

Patrick Pruitt (Laguna Pueblo and Chiricahua Apache), Squash Blossom necklace, 2019. Zirconium, Titanium, Stainless Steel, 11 5/8 x 9 3/4 x 1 in. (29.5 x 24.8 x 2.5 cm). Purchase 2019 Mr. and Mrs. William V. Griffin Fund and Thomas L. Raymond Bequest Fund | 2019.8  © Pat Pruitt. Photo by Richard Goodbody

Simple, Clean, Edgy: Virtual Talk with Artist and Metalsmith Pat Pruitt

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Pat Pruitt, a Native American artist and metalsmith, sat down for a virtual talk with The Newark Museum of Art's Amy Simon Hopwood.

Organized By:

Adriana Greci Green, PhD,

Consulting Curator for ISWJ installation and Native Artists

Adriana Greci Green, PhD, is the Curator of Indigenous Arts of the Americas at The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia, where she endeavors to reconnect artworks in the collection with their communities of origin and to uncover the Indigenous histories and experiences they reflect. She is interested in the material expressions of sovereignty and treaties and the contexts in which material culture, art, dress, and cultural performance are produced and circulated, both historically and today. She has been privileged to serve as an advisor board member for the exhibition Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists and was the lead curator for Native Artists of North America, the permanent reinstallation of Native American art at the Newark Museum of Art.