Museum of New Mexico Media Center Press Release

MIAC Presents “Collecting Jewelry: Curator H.P. Mera’s Trip to Navajo Country in 1932”

Museum of Indian Arts and Culture

May 12, 2021


The Museum of Indian Arts & Culture (MIAC) is excited to announce the opening of “Collecting Jewelry: Curator H.P. Mera’s Trip to Navajo Country in 1932,” a new exhibition that will be on view starting July 1, 2021, until December 2021. 

The exhibit consists of jewelry collected by Dr. Harry P. Mera during trip to the Navajo Nation in the fall of 1932. Funded primarily by John D. Rockefeller, Mera visited  80 trading posts and covered more than 2,500 miles to gather a collection of jewelry made in the prior  40 years.  

The pieces, outstanding in their craftsmanship and artistry, were handmade from silver coins or ingots of silver before the general availability of advanced mechanical tools and commercial commodities. These works shed light on the importance of silver to the Navajo people of the time, and form the inspiration to the jewelry artists that have followed.  

“We are pleased to showcase MIAC’s world-class jewelry collection with our upcoming exhibition highlighting pieces collected by the museum in the 1930s,” said MIAC Director Della Warrior (Otoe-Missouria).
“By highlighting Navajo jewelry through this unique historical lens, we are able to better understand the history of MIAC, as well as the continuing artistic brilliance of Navajo jewelers in the Southwest.”

The exhibit also explores the relationship of the Navajo people and the trading post – often mutually beneficial, but in some cases, not so. 

As a reminder, MIAC will re-open to the public on May 16, 2021.


About the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture
The Museum of Indian Arts & Culture is a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, under the leadership of the Board of Regents for the Museum of New Mexico. Programs and exhibits are generously supported by the Museum of New Mexico Foundation and our donors. The mission of the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology is to serve as a center of stewardship, knowledge, and understanding of the artistic, cultural, and intellectual achievements of the diverse peoples of the Native Southwest.



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