The Virtual Coe Being together while being apart....
May 22, 2020
We often associate fine jewelry with gold and gemstones—if you live in the Southwest then perhaps your mind goes to silver and turquoise. It is always exciting to see pieces of jewelry that elevate more humble materials into elegantly refined forms. The simplicity of this brass cuff, with its strong geometric design etched onto its surface does just that. The etching marks show the "imperfections" of the hand over the machine, with uneven lines and irregular shapes, but that only adds to the appeal. 

Brass is nowhere near as dense as gold, so a cuff this large would be much lighter and, of course, much less expensive. Brass oxidizes faster than gold or even silver, in a way it reacts to the individual wearer's natural pH, adding another layer to the story of a piece of jewelry. 

This work is one of the many examples in the Coe collection that is lacking all but the most basic information. The artist stamped the piece with C.C.M and is noted as being Hupa, but we don't know when or where it was purchased or who C.C.M. is. As always, if you would like to share any thoughts or information about this cuff, we would love to hear from you.

Artist Unknown (Natinixwe / Hupa), Cuff , n.d. Brass, 2.75 x 2.5 in. (6.9 x 6.3 cm). NA 1339
Not too many generations ago our mothers, aunts and grandmothers spent their days preparing meals and other household chores. Many of us learned to sew or asked a relative to do it for us. At one time most everyone could sew, so instead of buying new clothes when something was old or damaged, people would re-attach buttons, darn socks, and patch holes.

Today is different and many who sew pursue it as a hobby—no longer out of necessity. Sewing, like cooking is a basic skill that some of us are rekindling our passion for while we stay at home.

How does art come into it? Find out, click here .
Collections Spotlight , a program developed in partnership with  First American Art Magazine , is an interactive, online discussion that brings together scholars and Native artists who select artworks from the Coe’s collection to interpret and discuss. The free virtual Zoom format brings together attendees from diverse regions, and who are encouraged to engage with the artist through the questions asked.

This program will be back on Tuesday, June 2—please stay tuned to find out who the artist will be!

In the meantime, please view the first two Collections Spotlight events on the Coe YouTube channel here .

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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.

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