John Adair

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John Adair (1913-1997) was an anthropologist who spent his life studying and documenting the Navajo and Pueblo Indians of the Southwest. After he received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin, he spent time in the Southwest where he did research for his book, Navajo and Pueblo Silversmiths. To prepare his book, he visited trading posts in Indian country and examined and photographed silver on the pawn racks and in important private collections. He lived for a time among the Navajo, watching and learning jewelry making from one of the most famous silversmiths, Tom Burnsides. Later, he became involved in the creation of the Indian Arts and Crafts Board.  After returning from the war, he attended the University of New Mexico where he became the first doctoral candidate in anthropology in 1948.