Art •  American Indians and History

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Canvas of Clay: Seven Centuries of Hopi Ceramic Art

Edwin L. Wade
Allan Cooke

“The vessels in the pages that follow open to us a world flickering with the light of a people’s collective character and shared philosophy. These vessels have bodies of clay, but they float before us in the zero gravity of wisdom and belief.”— Edwin L. Wade

Canvas of Clay tells the story of Hopi ceramics from the 14th century to recent times, offering a particularly close look at the art and life of the master potter Nampeyo (1860–1942). It analyzes the specific dynamics of nearly 100 jars and bowls, all richly illustrated, weaving in many insights into Hopi history, aesthetics, and symbolism. Included are original schematic drawings that will help readers understand how pottery decoration is built from ingeniously combined design elements. This book is a glorious testament to a brilliant art form and its practitioners, presented with passion, knowledge, and respect.


Edwin L. Wade, PhD is a specialist in Native culture and Southwestern art who has developed many esteemed exhibition and publication programs, including Arts of the North American Indian (Hudson Hills/Philbrook) and Historic Hopi Ceramics (Peabody, Harvard).

Allan Cooke, MB, BS, MD (SYD) is a professor of medicine at the University of Kansas. He has studied and collected Hopi pottery for three decades.

Published By El Otro Lado

9 x 9.5 in. 248 pages 200 varied images