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[Virtual] Curator Conversation on “Nampeyo and the Sikyátki Revival”

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A bowl with triangle and rectangular shapes in various shades of brown.

Seed jar, ca. 1450–1500. Earthenware and pigment, 8 11/16 x 17 1/2 in. (22 x 44.5 cm). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Gift of the Thomas W. Weisel Family to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 2013.76.81. Photograph © Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Join us as we celebrate the de Young’s newest permanent-collection installation, Nampeyo and the Sikyátki Revival. Celebrating the artistic ingenuity of famed Tewa-Hopi potter Nampeyo, the de Young presents an installation of 32 pots from the collections of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. During her lifetime, Nampeyo (ca. 1860–1942) was, and remains today, perhaps the most renowned potter from the American Southwest. The single-gallery exhibition highlights Nampeyo’s work, juxtaposed with examples of Hopi pottery from her time. Exquisite ceramics made by ancestral Hopi artists demonstrate Nampeyo’s sources of inspiration, and artworks by four generations of her descendants attest to the master potter’s enduring legacy.

Co-curators Hillary Olcott and Bobby Silas will share a conversational presentation about the exhibition and explore Nampeyo’s life and work. Following the presentation, join Olcott and Silas for an audience Q&A. 


Please note this event will be run via Zoom, a video platform available free of charge. We recommend downloading Zoom to your computer or mobile device prior to the event to avoid any technical difficulties. If you are unable to attend the live viewing, a recording will be shared on our YouTube following the event. 

About the Speakers

Hillary C. Olcott

Hillary C. Olcott is associate curator of the arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. She is also the de Young’s coordinating curator for the current exhibition Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving and was the co-curator of the ongoing de Young exhibitions Of Courts and Cosmos: Art of the Ancient Maya and Native Artists of Western North America: In Dialogue with the Natural World.

Bobby Silas

Bobby Silas is an award-winning creative potter reviving ancient designs for his contemporary pieces. He credits learning to make pottery from his godfather, Kevin Navasie. Silas’s focus is to revive the technique used to make ancestral Hopi pottery, which he has accomplished through trial and error. He uses the Sikyátki method of firing using lignite coal, which he acquires near Antelope Mesa in Hopi. While he is Hopi-Tewa, he currently lives in Zuni, where he also practices the Zuni style of making pottery. In 2010, Silas began a decade-long artistic partnership with the late Timothy Edaakie, creating polychrome ceramics inspired by traditional Zuni pottery. Silas continues to make Zuni polychrome and as well traditional Hopi ceramics, and has won awards for his distinctive and creative pottery.

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(415) 750-3636