nice to have a neighbor who can help you store precious items when
you don't have the room at your home.
was the case when the Museum of Northern Arizona offered to store
the more than 850 cultural pieces in the Beenhouwer Fine Art Collection,
which was donated to the Hopi Tribe in 1999 by Herb and Bernice
Beenhouwer of Santa Fe.
impressive collection includes Native American fine art, predominantly
from the Hopi, New Mexico Pueblos, Navajo, Tohono O'odham and Apache
Beenhouwers began collecting on their travels throughout the Southwest
in 1966. Over three decades, their collection grew to its present
actually saw this collection in his house once," said Robert
Breunig, director of MNA. "There are a lot of really nice katsina
dolls, baskets and jewelry, but the collection was largely uncatalogued."
2009, the Hopi Tribe and MNA received funding from the Institute
of Museum and Library Services to complete a comprehensive inventory
and documentation of the entire collection.
about 1 1/2 years, the cataloguing, which has been conducted by
acting curator of anthropology, is nearing completion.
weekend Balenquah will give a talk about this extensive project
during the 78th annual Hopi Festival of Arts and Culture at the
Hopi Tribe is excited about this collection," Breunig said.
"The Hopis do not currently have a museum. Hopefully, this
will provide an impetus to get some kind of museum out at Hopi."
Billed as the Oldest Hopi Show in the World, the festival will bring
artists, demonstrators, musicians, dancers, and cultural speakers
to the museum, as it has for decades.
long-standing gathering represents the partnership between the Hopi
people and MNA, and has always had the mission of preserving Hopi
artistic traditions and creating a marketplace for Hopi goods.
the years, the event has become a regional tradition for artists
and collectors, and a must for visitors seeking an authentic cultural
recognition of its cultural contribution, the Hopi Festival was
given a Viola Award by the Flagstaff Cultural Partners this year
think it's an event that all of us here at the museum look forward
to every year," Breunig said. "It's our best-attended
festival. I think what makes it so special is the well-established
relationship the museum has with individual artists and their whole
families, going back several generations."
said the great-grandparents in Hopi were interacting with the original
founders of MNA, zoologist Harold S. Colton and artist Mary-Russell
Ferrell Colton, who were from Philadelphia and dedicated to preserving
the history and cultures of northern Arizona.
TO THE MESAS
In the months prior to the yearly festival, museum staff made several
trips to the Hopi Mesas to collect one-of-a-kind consigned works
from individual artists.
trips have always been an important part of the Hopi festivals,
as they are today, allowing artists who produce only a few items
per year a chance to sell their work.
75 artist booths and a consignment area, hundreds of distinctive
art pieces, including quilts, rattles, pottery, katsina dolls, paintings
and baskets will be on display and for sale.
the official festival opening, work will be judged
important part of the festival is the 30-plus awards that are given
to artists who excel in their arts category," said Anne Doyle,
manager of the Heritage Program. "Sponsored by businesses and
individuals, the awards are juried by art professionals from the
region. At the festival, award ribbons are on display at the artists'
tables, making it easy to spot the finest collectable art pieces."
talk by Balenquah is part of the Heritage Insight Presentations.
There will also be discussions on Hopi farming, Hopi migration and
a "Hopi 101" talk by artist and educator Ramson Lomatewama,
as well as a presentation by Anita Poleahla on "Teaching Hopi
Language from a Hopi Perspective" and a "Hopi Pottery"
demonstration by potters Dorothy and Emerson Ami.
said this kind of exchange is essential for cultural understanding.
Arizona at this time, we cannot do enough to cultivate respect for
other cultural traditions," he said. "I believe very strongly
that one of the principal roles of the museum is to be an example
that even though we are different, we can share and celebrate these
traditions, not just locally, but statewide."
of Northern Arizona
The mission of the Museum of Northern Arizona is to inspire a sense
of love and responsibility for the beauty and diversity of the Colorado
Plateau through collecting, studying, interpreting, and preserving
the regions natural and cultural heritage.