The Virtual Coe Being together while being apart....
October 1, 2021

Take a seat...

Clara Neptune Keezer (Passamaquoddy, b. 1930-d. 2016) created this set of doll furniture in the early 1980s. She had been creating ash splint baskets for over four decades. The Neptune family, rooted in the Passamaquoddy tribal land of Pleasant Point (Sipayik) in Perry, Maine, was known for centuries prior to her birth as leading Wabanaki basket makers. By the time Clara was eight, she had learned the art and significance of basket making from her mother and grandmother. This would lead her down a path of continuance—furthering the practice of ash splint basketry for generations to come.

In the 1950s, when splint baskets were slipping from popularity, Clara Neptune Keezer became deeply involved in the revitalization of the art. She made work and storage baskets but came to be widely recognized for her innovative and delightful fruit and vegetable baskets. In 1993, Clara became one of the founding members of the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance. The work of Clara and the other members was, and continues to be, dedicated to the furtherance of Wabanaki basket making and has led to an expansion of the field—both in terms of new makers and new collectors. It is notable that in the 1990s, when the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance was formed, there was only a small handful of (fewer than a dozen) younger basketmakers. However, talk of a resurgence in some ways overshadows the centuries of endurance and connection held within ash basketry.

Learn more HERE.

Clara Neptune Keezer (Passamaquoddy), Doll Furniture, c. 1980. Brown ash splint, sweetgrass, and fabric, dims. variable. NA0100a-d

The greener...
the more valuable.

Blue lagoons. Starry cosmos. Crisp forest air. Foggy mornings. Agriculture. Art. All was the world of the ancient civilizations in the Mesoamerican lands, such as the Olmec (1500 BC-400 BC) and Maya (900 BC-900 AC). Although there is very little information about the origin of this brightly colored green jade maskette and from what time period it may have come, Ted Coe knew the origins of its lands and the mask carved upon it.

The Mesoamerican Jade Project of Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology (1977-2000) led to the discovery of the Olmec Blue jade mines around the Central Motagua Valley in Guatemala, where ancient Maya lode mines were also discovered. They grew to learn that jade was an emblematic stone of the Olmec and Mayan peoples—essential to the person’s beauty, intelligence, spirit, and transformation. The greener the jade, the more valuable...

Learn more HERE.

Artist Unknown (Mayan, attrib), Maskette, c. 600-1500. Jade, 0.875 x 0.5 in. PC0007

In case you missed it...

Experience artist Lisa Rutherford (Cherokee Nation) as she hosts COLLECTIONS SPOTLIGHT on September 21. Lisa Rutherford, textile, beadwork, and ceramic artist will discuss via Zoom Eastern Woodlands beadwork and ceramics within the Coe Collection.

COLLECTIONS SPOTLIGHT a program developed in partnership with First American Art Magazine is an interactive, online monthly experience that brings together diverse scholars and Native artists who select artworks from the Coe’s collection to interpret and discuss. The virtual Zoom format also brings together attendees from diverse regions. Attendee questions are accepted throughout the experience via chat, and at the end opened to audio.

These events are free and open to the general public. Watch past Collection Spotlight events, on the Coe Center YouTube channel HERE.

As of October 1, 2021, First Fridays return.

On the first Friday of each month, 1-4 pm, the Coe Center invites you to experience behind-the-scenes access to over 2,300 works of global Indigenous art. Meet the works of art, staff, and volunteers!

Due to COVID, space is limited.
Please call ahead to register (505) 983-6372, or email

We, at the Coe, care about your health, and all of us together can protect our community by everyone wearing their mask. Masks and proof of vaccination are required to participate.

Let's make it fun—and wear your fanciest most stylish mask!

To view past The Virtual Coe issues, please click HERE.