2014-11 Small ant pot

Object ID:
2014-11

Artist:
Shirley Benn

Dimensions:
2.188” H X 2.75” w

Small pots painted with ant images seem to have been the invention of Daisy Hooee Nampeyo who correctly believed that they and their story would appeal to tourists. (See 1994-03 for the story and an example formed by Daisy and painted by her granddaughter, Cheryl Naha.)

Shirley Benn is the daughter of Daisy and the mother of Cheryl. Her rendition of an ant pot is particularly skillfully formed and humorously painted. The pot is extremely thin with a flared lip. As with the Daisy/Cheryl pot, a parade of 11 horn-playing ants encircles pot 2014-11. Two smaller ants without musical instruments have crawled away from the parade and grace the sides of the pot. Above them five similar ants have surmounted the rim and wander, perhaps looking for the honey that Daisy’s story promises. The painting is especially precise and delicate, as is the decoration of the other Shirley Benn pots in this collection. (See Artists List.)

Purchase History:
Like 2014-08, pot 2014-11 was purchased on Ebay (4/4/14) from Becky Noehren of Arnolds Park, Iowa (receipt on file). In the listing she wrote that she was “down sizing my late husband’s (Bill Noehren’s) extensive collection of Hopi pottery.” In response to a request for provenance, she wrote: “Sorry no info on this pot other than that I believe it was purchased online within the past 3 years.”