Exhibit | New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs

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Collecting Jewelry: Curator H.P. Mera’s Trip to Navajo Country in 1932

Curator H.P. Mera’s Trip to Navajo Country in 1932

On display through Jan 02, 2022 at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture

The Museum of Indian Arts & Culture will open "Collecting Jewelry:  Curator H.P. Mera’s Trip to Navajo Country in 1932," starting July 1, 2021, until December 2021.  The exhibit consists of jewelry collected by Dr. Harry P. Mera during a trip to the Navajo Nation in the fall of 1932.  Funded primarily by John D. Rockefeller, Mera visited 80 trading posts and covered more than 2,500 miles to gather a collection of jewelry made in the prior 40 years.

The pieces, outstanding in their craftsmanship and artistry, were handmade from silver coins or ingots of silver before the general availability of advanced mechanical tools and commerical commodities.  These works shed light on the importance of silver to the Navajo people of the time, and form the inspiration of the jewelry artists that have followed.

Also on exhibit at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture


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