Page 23 - IACA Journal, Spring 2012

Basic HTML Version

After eight years of work and
contributions by thousands
of artists and collectors, Gre-
gory and Angie Schaaf com-
pleted the continuation of
their bestselling guide to Na-
tive American jewelry. Amer-
ican Indian Jewelry I profiled
1200 jewelers. The newest
endeavor, American Indian
Jewelry II, will be published
in two volumes, A to L be-
came available on February
1; the second volume, M to Z, will go on sale this summer.
When the Schaafs published their first jewelry book in 2003, they were inundated
with Indian jewelers who wanted to be included. Over 4000 jewelers filled out
the artist survey, giving permission for their biographies and photographs to be
published. Profiles identify the artist by tribe, clan and active years as well as,
awards, exhibitions, publications and more.
The result is a stunning, book anyone interested in Indian jewelry, from collectors
to gallery owners and academics, do not want to be without. There is little overlap
with Jewelry I, except for the welcomed addition of expanded profiles and pho-
tographs of 200 of the most important, groundbreaking jewelers.
In a recent interview with IACA, Gregory
Schaaf talked lessons learned from speaking to
so many artists: “The biggest thing we learned
is that the tradition of making American In-
dian jewelry has been passed down over gen-
erations. We went over family trees, tracing
some back from the 1850s and the Long
Walk, all the way to top prize winners at Santa
Fe Indian Market. Jewelers pass their art on
to their children and grandchildren. The kids watch their parents and grandpar-
ents working at home, and then start to do the work themselves.”
The two new volumes have several extra features. The first is a master index of
jeweler’s hallmarks, accompanied by high resolution digital photographs of the
marks. The second is a national turquoise directory, with accompanying photos,
a guide on how to identify high grade natural turquoise, and a timeline of the
mines, from ancient history through the first formal claims and transfers of own-
Although their books are full of history, the Schaafs are most interested in cre-
ativity and innovation in techniques and materials. “Our goal is to elevate Native
American art to fine art status,” Gregory explained. He quotes Alan Houser,
who said, “If an Indian makes it, it is Indian art, but it is also world art.”
American Indian Jewelry II can be ordered from the Center for Indigenous Arts
and Culture (CIAC). The retail price is $70.00. It is also available on DVD as
pdf files.
American Indian Jewelry II
by Dr. Gregory and Angie Schaaf
Center for Indigenous Arts and Culture, 2012
Hardcover, 400 pages.
b y C o l l e e n R e e k s
• A m e r i c a n I n d i a n J e w e l r y I I
vol I
S p r i ng 2 0 1 2
Jake Livingston
Jimmy Calabaza
IACA member artists' images
taken from the pages of
American Indian Jewelry II.
Marian Denipah
Erick Begay