“Hopi Maiden” Bronze Sculpture by Al Qöyawayma and Charles Supplee

C4454-bronze.jpg

+ Add to my watchlist Forward to Friend


AL Qöyawayma, Hopi Pueblo Artist
  • Category: Bronze Sculpture and other Carving
  • Origin: Hopi Pueblo, Hopituh Shi-nu-mu
  • Medium: Bronze sculpture on wood base
  • Size:
    10-⅞” height including base;
    4-⅝” width; 4” depth
  • Item # C4454
  • Price: $2850

“Hopi Maiden” is the result of a collaboration between notable Hopi artists Al Qöyawayma and Charles Supplee.  Qöyawayma’s website displays a piece called “Original Hopi Maiden,” which appears to be a more elaborately adorned version of this sculpture.  It includes gold feathers, coral, and inlaid turquoise, and it’s priced at $90,000.  While the intricate “Original” is most certainly a sight to behold, this simpler version of “Hopi Maiden”—completed in 1991 in an edition of 30—manages to be every bit as appealing. 

Qöyawayma’s website describes “Hopi Maiden” as one of two sculptures “recognizing the sacred place of the female in Hopi culture’s matriarchal society.”  Qöyawayma and Supplee’s collaboration is beautiful, elegant, and somewhat mysterious.  We see a necklace or collar, through which the maiden’s head rises, looking to her left.  The bulk of the bronze forms a shroud or blanket around her.  By leaving out the details and instead focusing on the impression as a whole, Qöyawayma and Supplee succeed at paying tribute to the subject of their work.

On the back near the base, the bronze is signed, dated and numbered as Qöyawayma & Supplee, 1991, 4/30.

Alfred H. Qöyawayma (1938- ) is one of the most famous contemporary Hopi artists.  He entered the art scene around 1970 and is still actively creating.  Qöyawayma attributes his pottery style to his aunt, the famous Hopi potter Elizabeth White (or “Polingaysi Qöyawayma'').  It was she who started the all-natural clay pottery without slip and with the appliqué corn design. “Al Qöyawayma is a ceramic artist, potter, and bronze sculptor. He's also a thinker of great thoughts, a Fulbright Scholar, a co-founder of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, a featured artist at the Smithsonian’s permanent Archives of American Art as well as a physicist, astronomer, anthropologist, engineer, and educator.” (Indian Country Today)

Charles Supplee (1959- ) is a Hopi Pueblo artist.  Supplee is primarily known as a jeweler, but he also creates bronze sculpture, photography, and paintings.  Supplee was born in Arizona in 1959 to a Hopi Mother and a French father.  He grew up on the Navajo reservation, where his father was a teacher.  After high school, Supplee worked as a silversmith at Arizona Turquoise and Silver Company, and then apprenticed for two years under French jeweler Pierre Touraine.  His unique and beautiful works have won many notable awards.


Condition: excellent condition

Provenance: this "Hopi Maiden" Bronze Sculpture by Al Qöyawayma and Charles Supplee is from a private Colorado collection

Recommended Reading: Beyond Tradition: Contemporary Indian Art and Its Evolution by Jerry Jacka, et al.

Relative Links: Western Sculpture: BronzeContemporary PotteryHopi PuebloElizabeth White - PolingaysiAL Qöyawayma, Hopi Pueblo Artist

Artist Signatures - Al Qöyawayma (1938- ) and Charles Supplee (1959- )

AL Qöyawayma, Hopi Pueblo Artist
  • Category: Bronze Sculpture and other Carving
  • Origin: Hopi Pueblo, Hopituh Shi-nu-mu
  • Medium: Bronze sculpture on wood base
  • Size:
    10-⅞” height including base;
    4-⅝” width; 4” depth
  • Item # C4454
  • Price: $2850

C4454-bronze.jpgC4454-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.