The Virtual Coe Being together while being apart....
October 2, 2020
In case you missed it...

Collections Spotlight September 22, was with Melissa Shaginoff and entitled, Dene (Athabascan) Art in Materials, Potlatch, and Collection. Two pieces she discusses are included below.

Melissa Shaginoff is part of the Udzisyu (caribou) and Cui Ui Ticutta (fish-eater) clans from Nay'dini'aa Na Kayax (Chickaloon Village, Alaska). She is an Ahtna and Paiute person, an artist, a social activist, and currently the curator of Alaska Pacific University's Art Galleries.
Collections Spotlight, a program developed in partnership with First American Art Magazine, is a free interactive, online discussion that brings together the public, scholars, and Native artists who select artworks from the Coe's collection to interpret and discuss.

The next Collections Spotlight with Kelly Church is October 20, 3pm MDT. Stayed tuned for more information soon.
Be the fashion...!

Moose hair tufting on this purse is in a popular Dene floral pattern, adapted and expanded from early European floral embroidery—expressing an ongoing visual dialogue between cultures and eras.

The application of the moose hair tufting onto a simple purse form enhances the appeal of both the purse and tufting. The sweet calico lining and simple orange border beading only further the tenderness of this piece. It feels like a piece that would be made for a granddaughter more than for an anonymous buyer—even as it was purchased from a trading post in Fort Nelson, British Columbia. Either way, it calls out to be used, handled, and loved.

To learn more about this piece, click here
Artist Unknown (Dene, Fort Providence, NWT), Purse with Strap, c. 1990s.
Wool, beads, tufted moose hair, commercial cotton lining, 9.5 in x 11.25 in. NA0503.
Life is centered on the Caribou...

This quiver, made by the Tanana people from Alaska’s interior and sometimes referred to as Central Alaskan Athabascans. It is designed to hold arrows and perhaps a bow. It can be worn across the back. 

The Tanana use hills and mountains to identify boundaries between different Athabascan groups and these are represented along the seam. Placing caribou figures on a quiver of arrows intended for hunting caribou is a deep and profound invocation for a successful hunt. Life was once centered on the Caribou, with annual hunts long-planned and anticipated. Dried meat from the hunts was essential to surviving the harsh central Alaskan winters. Caribou are still hunted today, eaten fresh, but is also frozen for later use

Learn more about this piece and the Tanana people here.
Artist Unknown (Tanana), Quiver, ca. 1880-1900.
Caribou hide, ceramic and glass beads, 7.5 x 26 in. (19 x 66 cm). NA0692


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 mail checks to the Ralph T. Coe Center for the Arts, 1590 B Pacheco Street, Santa Fe, NM 87505. Your support creates connection. Thank you.

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

Connect with us!