News & Experiences
July 2019
This enchanting figure is just one of the Coe's collection of over 2,200 objects from all over the world. Every one with stories behind it -- of how it came to be cherished at the Coe, the cultural significance, and, in many cases, the story of the original artist. Seemingly mundane or "simply", objects have incredible power when you are aware of the context.

We will be adding more objects on our website so visit for just a taste of the collection. Also, there is always more to learn and so we encourage you to email us if you know something about the objects.

All are welcome—please call us to schedule your own private tour at the Coe and see the Kulap figure up close. Admission is always free and we love to share the stories!
Object of the Month
New Ireland Kulap Figure
U nknown artist, New Ireland Culture/People, Melanesia, late 19th century
A note from Bruce Bernstein,
Director of Innovation & Senior Curator

Visitors at the Coe are often interested in how Ted Coe collected—did he visit and buy directly from makers? Traders? Auctions? Galleries? All of the above. Ted was the non-stoppable collector, beginning in his early 20s. But it was his love of objects that moved him to collect rather than for the sake of accumulating. He chose carefully, with an educated eye. This Kulap figure is a good example of Ted's well- trained eye. There are literally hundreds of examples of Kulap figures in public and private collections but very few have the detailed carving and painting of this particular piece. And the smile is beguiling!  

By Ted's recollection, he purchased the figure in Amsterdam in 1953 while traveling with his sister Nancy, noting that after seeing it in a store window, he rushed in and without hesitation purchased it and put it in his rucksack where it remained as he traveled around Europe the next few weeks. But one day Coe friend Gerald Stiebel, while examining the piece, noticed a series of numbers that suggested it came from a museum's collection. Gerald's research found that the figure was de-accessioned in 1956 cas t ing doubt, by three years, of Ted's recollection. We may never know exactly when Ted acquired the piece. But we only need to look at the figure to see its intriguing stare and fine rendering and share in Ted's enchantment with it.
Bring your summer & Indian Market visitors for a tour!

The Coe has extended hours through August 31. Beginning Saturday, July 12, 2019, we are open 1-4 pm every Saturday through August 31, with the exception of Santa Fe Indian Market—Saturday, August 17.

We are also open daily from 1-4 pm August 12-16 and August 19-23, 2019.

As always, admission is free and there is ample parking.
Thank You to Our Community Partners!
The Ralph T. Coe Center for the Arts is a private operating 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions are tax deductible to the extent of the Internal Revenue Code. Please donate online or checks can be mailed to the Ralph T. Coe Center for the Arts, 1590 B Pacheco Street, Santa Fe, NM 87505. Your support enables us to engage more artists, students, and their communities. Thank you.

Ralph T. Coe Center for the Arts | 1590 B Pacheco Street, Santa Fe, NM 87505

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