William Spratling was a U.S. educator whose artistic impact caused a successful silver jewelry industry to arise in Taxco, Mexico, in the 1940s. This book examines Spratling's Mexican work and explores how his talent attracted the attention of the U.S. Interior Department. In 1945, he was invited to create a similar program for Alaska, where it was felt that the indigenous people needed to be encouraged for their own artistic expression and economic gain.
Thirty never-before-seen Alaskan models, lost for over 50 years, have been found and now are preserved at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian. These and original designs for the project, made in 1949, are presented here along with Spratling's original 1945 report to the Arts and Crafts Board. Also featured are Spratling's designs that inspired a new company's formation to carry on his legacy at Taxco. Clearly, innovation in designs and inspiration for generations of new artists have risen from Spratling's work.
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