2011-05 Monochromatic Bowl with Migration and “Fish” Designs

Object ID:
2011-05

Artist:
Annie Healing Nampeyo

Dimensions:
2.06 “ h X 5.56” w

Round-bottomed, with fire clouds and one spalded spot, the date of production is unknown; I would guess the 1920s to 1950s. The design has two motifs, each repeated twice on the bowl. One design forms a fish-like pattern incorporating traditional Hopi/Tewa elements, including two renditions of the “clown face” often used by Nampeyo. The second design is a single “migration wing” finished with a series of dots. Thick over thin framing lines encircle the mouth of the bowl.

The delicacy of the painting is unusual and striking. While the bowl is unsigned and has no provenance, the high quality of the painting, design elements and delicacy of painting suggest that Annie Healing Nampeyo might be the artist. As Barbara Kramer noted, “As (Annie’s) work matured, it had a more delicate, horizontal feeling to it, like slanted penmanship. She was the first to repeatedly paint migration designs, her signature dots identifiable at the ends of the ‘wingtips’ (Plate 16 (1996:162).” Bowl 2011-05 meets all of Kramer’s criteria, though this is not proof of its maker, only a suggestion.

Purchase History:
Purchased on 2/22/11 on eBay from Mark Sisco of St. George, ME. [Receipt on file.] He had purchased it on 2/4/11 from James D. Julia Auction as part of a three-pot lot.