Collections

Hopi and Tewa Pottery from the Melville Collection

In 1927 Carey E. and Maud Melville and their three children set out from Worcester, MA, to see the country in their new Ford Model T. Their trip included a three-week stay on Hopi lands in northeastern Arizona. There, through missionary friends at the First Mesa Baptist Church in Polacca, they became acquainted with local Hopi and Tewa artists. They collected, not as professional art dealers or ethnographers, but as tourists. However, they didn't mindlessly acquire objects as souvenirs; the Melvilles were clearly interested in the objects' perceived function and aesthetic, in who made them (and how), and in the experiences to be had and the relationships created via their acquisition. As well as finished works produced for sale (pictured here), the Melville Collection includes samples of raw materials, an unfired pot, and correspondence from Ethel Salyah Muchvo, one of the potters. The letters document a friendship and series of gift exchanges with Maud that lasted for at least a decade after the Melvilles' initial visit. The collection was donated to Wesleyan in 1976 at the suggestion of Mrs. Melville's grandson, Robert S. Arnold '69.

Please click on thumbnails for full object views. For more information, see the catalog edited by Willard Walker and Lydia L. Wyckoff: Hopis, Tewas and the American Road (Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 1983) and Carolyn O'Bagy Davis's Hopi Summer: Letters from Ethel to Maud (Tucson: Rio Nuevo Publishers, 2007).

Sityatki Revival Polychrome Bowl

2003.5.34 (Catalog Plate 11)

Sityatki Revival Polychrome Bowl

10 cm greatest diameter
<center><em>Sityatki Revival Polychrome Bowl</em></center>

Sityatki Revival Polychrome Bowl by Sellie

2003.5.39 (Catalog Plate 2)

Sityatki Revival Polychrome Bowl by Sellie

13.7 cm greatest diameter

 


<center><em>Sityatki Revival Polychrome Bowl by Sellie</em></center>

Sityatki Revival Polychrome Bowl

2003.5.51 (Catalog Plate 11)

Sityatki Revival Polychrome Bowl

14.5 cm greatest diameter
<center><em>Sityatki Revival Polychrome Bowl</em></center>

Sityatki Revival Polychrome Bowl

2003.5.52 (Catalog Plates 1 and 2)

Sityatki Revival Polychrome Bowl

18 cm greatest diameter
<center><em>Sityatki Revival Polychrome Bowl</em></center>

Polished Red Ware Plaque by Ruth Takala

2003.5.58 (Catalog Plate 25)

Polished Red Ware Plaque by Ruth Takala

16 cm greatest diameter
<center><em>Polished Red Ware Plaque by Ruth Takala</em></center>

Sityatki Revival Polychrome Bowl

2003.5.85 (Catalog Plates 1 and 2)

Sityatki Revival Polychrome Bowl

17 cm greatest diameter
<center><em>Sityatki Revival Polychrome Bowl</em></center>

Polished Red Ware Bowl

2003.5.38 (Catalog Plate 23)

Polished Red Ware Bowl

10.7 cm greatest diameter
<center><em>Polished Red Ware Bowl</em></center>

Polished Red Ware Bowl

2003.5.40 (Catalog Plate 25)

Polished Red Ware Bowl

19 cm greatest diameter
<center><em>Polished Red Ware Bowl</em></center>

Polished Red Ware Bowl

2003.5.45 (Catalog Plate 23)

Polished Red Ware Bowl

10.8 cm greatest diameter
<center><em>Polished Red Ware Bowl</em></center>