1994-17 Bowl with Mixed Design Elements

Hopi polychrome jar by Marie Koopee Nampeyo, 1975. Originally #58 in the 1983 “Nampeyo of Hano” show at Adobe Gallery (1983:13), the pot was purchased as part of a large group by a Texas collector, who later sold the pot back to Al Alexander, Jr.

Marie (1914-1982), daughter of Nellie, is quoted in the Seven Families catalogue as saying she learned pottery from her mother, but also that she worked with “Old Lady” Nampeyo and Lesou when she was small. Although she says she used Nampeyo’s designs, 1994-17 is not symmetrically designed and seems to have been drawn rather freely, in contrast to her grandmother’s (generally) more careful and symmetrical designs. (See 1993-02 and especially 1991-03.)

The pot is thick and the design fun—although somewhat heavy. In this regard is more like the pots of her mother Nellie than her Grandmother “Old Lady” Nampeyo.  This competent ability was passed down through the family and then flowered into magnificence..

Marie’s son Jacob married Georgia (Koopee) who also made competent pottery (2007-06).  They had at least six children, three daughters and three sons.  I don’t know pottery of made by the daughters, but the three sons were all artists.  Two, Logan (2009-26) and Julian (2010-01) ocasionally made pottery, but one, Jake Jr., became the greatest potter of his generation.

Jake (1970-2011)  is the only person to have won “Best of Show” in  the same year (2005) at both Santa Fe Indian Market and the Heard Museum Market. Over the course of a 20-year career he developed an innovative style that is distinctive, precise and yet extraordinarily energized. This collection has pottery from the full range of his short career; see the Artist List. He died tragically in December of 2011.