Frank Patania, Jr. (b.1932)
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In 1927 Frank Patania, Sr. came to New Mexico to recover from tuberculosis. He ended up staying his entire life. Trained as a gold and silversmith in New York, Patania opened the Thunderbird Studio where he blended modern European jewelry styles with traditional Native American design. A completely distinctive look resulted from this combination, a modern hybrid that is as fashionable today as it was 40 years ago. Because of its reputation for the finest quality and workmanship, wearable art from the Thunderbird Studio was collected by many famous New Mexico residents, including Georgia O’Keeffe and Mabel Dodge Luhan. Patania taught the craft to his son, Frank Patania Jr., whose work is distinguished by a unique Southwestern flair.