American Jewelry Art


This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "American Jewelry Art." Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section. Clicking on titles takes readers directly to these articles and essays. The date at the end of each title is the Resource Library publication date.

After articles and essays from Resource Library are links to valuable online resources found outside our website. Links may be to museums' articles about exhibits, plus much more topical information based on our online searches. Following online resources may be information about offline resources including museums, DVDs, and paper-printed books, journals and articles.

We recommend that readers search within the TFAO website to find detailed information for any topic. Please see our page How to research topics not listed for more information.

Please send suggestions for additional content by sending an email to


Articles and essays from Resource Library in chronological order:

Loloma: Expressions in Metal, Ink and Clay (4/2/15)

Elegant Armor: The Art of Jewelry (12/11/08)

Native Couture: A History of Santa Fe Style (4/22/08)

Gems of Generations; with article by Twig Johnson (3/3/05)

The Art of Gold (2/24/04)

The Jewelry of Robert Ebendorf: A Retrospective of Forty Years (6/24/03)

Elegant Fantasy: The Jewelry of Arline Fisch (2/16/00)

Torch Songs: Fifty Years of Northwest Jewelry:Messengers of Modemism: American Studio Jewelry 1940-1960 (7/21/98)


From other websites:

American Indian Jewelry from Native Languages of the Americas. Accessed August, 2015.

Art Jewelry, Favrile Metalwork & Precious Glass by Louis Comfort Tiffany is an ongoing exhibit at the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. The museum says: "Unlike the extravagant jewelry produced under the direction of Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812­1902) at Tiffany & Co., Louis Comfort Tiffany's jewelry was distinguished by design and color. He executed his innovative creations using largely semiprecious stones and enamels." The article includes a 2-page exhibit object guide. Accessed August, 2016.

Be Dazzled! Masterworks of Jewelry and Beadwork from the Heard Museum is an online exhibit of the Heard Museum. Includes texts and images. Accessed January, 2015.

The Cutting Edge: Contemporary Southwestern Jewelry and Metalwork is an online exhibit of the Heard Museum. Includes texts and images. Accessed January, 2015.

FORCE OF NATURE: Highlights from the Myrna B. Palley Art Jewelry Collection is a 2021 exhibit at the Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami which says: "FORCE OF NATURE: Highlights from the Myrna B. Palley Art Jewelry Collection is a testament to Mrs. Palley's indomitable spirit and her keen eye as a collector. It also pays homage to the special relationships Palley forged with the artists whose beautiful works she so proudly wore, including Pierre Cavalan, Kat Cole, Giselle Courtney, Steven Ford, David Forlano, Karen Gilbert, Tzuri Gueta, Chris Hentz, Mirjiam Hiller, Linda MacNeil, Julie Milhalisin, Sabine Müller, Maryanne Petrus-Gilbert, Joyce Scott, Luca Tripaldi, and Jazmin Winters. Each worked in a dynamic range of techniques and media, all of which are highlighted in this small but compelling exhibition." Accessed 10/21

Henry "Hank" Katzwinkel (1926-2015) is a 2016 exhibit at the Erie Art Museum which says: "He drew inspiration from his travels and experiences and used materials from the places he visited, including stones and wood, in his designs."  Accessed 8/18

Jana Brevick: This Infinity Fits in My Hand was a 2015 exhibit at the Bellevue Art Museum which says: "In Jana Brevick's hands, the prosaic household object or tool is transformed into a gem. The resulting work juxtaposes a high level of metal craftsmanship with a droll tongue-in-cheek delivery. With a nod to Man Ray, these wry "chance meetings" are often accompanied by twists on scale and proportion that challenge conventions of wearability.... Brevick is insatiably curious about the world and beyond. Her ongoing research into mathematics and the natural sciences forms the basis for many of her pieces. In her work, an awe for the history of scientific discovery and innovation is offset by her fascination with the beauty of obsolete technologies. Also see artist website. Accessed 1/17

Jewelry for America is a 2019 exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art which says: "Spanning three hundred years, Jewelry for America explores the evolution of jewelry in this country, from the early eighteenth century to the present day."  Also see 8/11/19 article in Introspective Magazine  Accessed 11/19

J. Mark Sublette of Medicine Man Gallery, Inc. has secured permission to reprint online numerous articles concerning Western and Native American art from publishers of several paper-printed magazines. Included are articles on Native American jewelry. The gallery has posted several videos on Navajo jewelry and turquoise on its YouTube channel. Accessed August, 2015.

Nadine Kariya: The Hammer And The Peony is a 2017 exhibit at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art which says: "Seattle metalsmith Nadine Kariya presents elegant designs and stories in jewelry and small functional objects." - To read more after exhibit closes, go to "Past Exhibitions" section of museum website.  Accessed 12/17

Ron Ho - A Jeweler's Tale is a 2019 exhibit at the Bellevue Art Museumwhich says: "Building off of Ho's 2006 retrospective at BAM and the recent Northwest Designer Craftsmen Living Treasures film Ron Ho: Becoming Chinese, A Jeweler's Tale, the exhibition highlights the artist's creative explorations, the deep influence of his heritage, and his masterful ability to tell a story. Selected works from Ho's decades-long career, as well as artifacts from his personal collection, will be displayed alongside drawings and notes that illuminate his creative process." Also see Ron Ho: Becoming Chinese, A Jeweler's Tale 28 minute video  Accessed 9/19

Symmetry in Stone: The Jewelry of Richard I. Chavez is a 2018 exhibit at the Heard Museum which says: "For the first time in his more than 40-year career, Richard Chavez's jewelry will be featured in a retrospective exhibition. Since his early years of jewelry design and execution, Chavez has continued to painstakingly make each item by hand."  Also see artist's website   Accessed 3/18


(above: Bai-De-Schluch-A-Ichin or Be-Ich-Schluck-Ich-In-Et-Tzuzzigi ("Metal Beater" Slender Silversmith, Navajo) with silver necklaces, concho belts, and tools, 1883, Palace of the Governor Archives. Photo: Ben Wittick)



The Beauty of Navajo Jewelry, By Theda Bassman, Ph.D., Gene Balzer. Preview this book. Published 1997 by Kiva Publishing. 79 pages. ISBN:1885772025. Google Books says: "An elegant array of museum quality pieces are showcased illustrating the marvelous creativity and artistry of Navajo jewelers. The book features the fine photography of noted photographer Gene Balzer. Detailed descriptions accompany each piece photographed." Note: Google Books offers a Limited Preview of this book. For more information on this and other digitizing initiatives from publishers please click here and here. (right: front cover, The Beauty of Navajo Jewelry. Photo courtesy Google Books)

Be Dazzled!: Masterworks of Jewelry and Beadwork from the Heard Museum, By Gail Bird, Heard Museum. Published by Heard Museum, 2002. ISBN 0934351651, 9780934351652. 80 pages. Google Books says: "Series of 3 catalogs published to accompany a series of 3 exhibitions organized by and held at the Heard Museum in 2001-2003, and tour internationally under the title Masterworks from the Heard Museum."

Encyclopedia of Native American Jewelry: A Guide to History, People, and Terms, By Paula A. Baxter, Allison Bird-Romero. Published 2000 by Oryx Press. 296 pages. ISBN:1573561282. Google Books says: "This new guide is the first to explore all facets of Native American jewelry -- its history, variety, and quality -- in one convenient resource. With coverage beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, this resource includes artists, techniques, materials, motifs, and more. The encyclopedia opens with a helpful introductory essay to acquaint the reader with the subject. More than 350 entries and over 80 photos make this new encyclopedia an exceptional value." (right: front cover, Encyclopedia of Native American Jewelry: A Guide to History, People, and Terms. Photo courtesy Google Books)

A Guide to Indian Jewelry of the Southwest, By Georgiana Kennedy Simpson. Published 1999 by Western National Parks Association. 48 pages. ISBN:158369000X. Google Books says: "The third in our series of best-selling guides to collectible Indian crafts. Features bright, clear photographs of work by Navajo, Zuni, Hopi, and Santo Domingo artists. Brief text details the meticulous tasks these artists perform to create a southwestern style of wearable art."Note: Google Books offers a Limited Preview of this book. For more information on this and other digitizing initiatives from publishers please click here and here. (left: front cover, A Guide to Indian Jewelry of the Southwest. Photo courtesy Google Books)

Hopi Silver: The History and Hallmarks of Hopi Silversmithing, by Margaret Nickelson Wright. 160 pages. University of New Mexico Press; 1998 revision edition (August 30, 2003) ISBN-10: 0826333826. ISBN-13: 978-0826333827

Southwestern Indian Jewelry, By Dexter Cirillo. Photographs by Stephen Northup, Michael Monteaux. Contributor Steven Northup, Michael Monteaux. Published 1992 by Abbeville Press. Abbeville says: "Spectacular photographs of the breathtaking beautiful objects and sensitive portraits of the artists combine with an insightful, informative text to capture the spirit of this work and the vital cultures from which it springs. This ground-breaking volume opens by surveying the vividly colored necklaces, earrings, and pins made in shell and stone from prehistoric times to the present, particularly in the Santo Domingo and Zuni pueblos. The focus then shifts to the much-admired and avidly collected work in silver -- often set with turquoise and other stones -- by Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni artists. The book culminates in an exploration of striking contemporary work in which many artists have adapted traditional approaches to create original designs. A collector's guide offers invaluable advice as well as an illustrated glossary of materials, techniques, objects, and designs. A nationwide directory of sources concludes the book." (right: front cover, Southwestern Indian Jewelry. Photo courtesy Google Books) Note: the Introduction to this book may be read at the Abbeville Press web site.

White Metal Universe: Navajo Silver from the Fred Harvey Collection, By Heard Museum of Anthropology and Primitive Art, E. W. Jernigan, Gary Witherspoon. Published by Heard Museum, 1981. ISBN 0934351201, 9780934351201. 53 pages


DVD/VHS video:

Charles Loloma & Helen Hardin. Presents the world famous Hopi jeweler Charles Loloma displays some of his work and discusses his heritage, and presents Helen Hardin painting sophisticated geometric patterns and traditional Indian motifs while exploring her attempt to integrate the Indian and artist parts of her self. 1988. 60 min. Video/C 1579. Available from Media Resources Center, Library, University of California, Berkeley.

TFAO does not maintain a lending library of videos or sell videos. Click here for information on how to borrow or purchase copies of VHS videos and DVDs listed in TFAO's Videos -DVD/VHS, an authoritative guide to videos in VHS and DVD format


Return to Topics in American Representational Art

TFAO catalogues:

Individual pages in each catalogue are continuously amended as TFAO adds content, corrects errors and reorganizes sections for improved readability. Refreshing or reloading pages enables readers to view the latest updates.

Links to sources of information outside of our web site are provided only as referrals for your further consideration. Please use due diligence in judging the quality of information contained in these and all other web sites. Information from linked sources may be inaccurate or out of date. TFAO neither recommends or endorses these referenced organizations. Although TFAO includes links to other web sites, it takes no responsibility for the content or information contained on those other sites, nor exerts any editorial or other control over them. For more information on evaluating web pages see TFAO's General Resources section in Online Resources for Collectors and Students of Art History.

Search Resource Library

Copyright 2021 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.