Update, Nov. 7- The book Native American Bolo Ties is now available! Click here to order.
Norman Sandfield, whose silver seed pot collection was the focus of a long running exhibit and first of its kind book on the subject, is offering his bolo tie collection for another exhibition and book: Native American Bolo Ties, Vintage and Contemporary Artistry, which will be available for purchase in conjunction with the exhibit opening on November 19, 2011.
About the exhibit and the book:
The bolo tie exhibit will tell the story of the development of the bolo tie while focusing on those made primarily by Native American artists. Bolo ties, representing the casualness and somewhat ruggedness of the West, emerged as a form of men's neckwear in the 1940s. They directly countered business suits, and the formality suits represented, and instead marked a different style and a different way of life. In particular, Native American jewelers and silversmiths brought individuality and creativity to this art form, offering a broad range of unique and artistic options.
The bolo ties included in the exhibit will come from the Heard Museum permanent collection of more than 170 bolo ties and from the promised gift of Norman L. Sandfield. His collection consists of more than 1,000 bolo ties, scarf slides and ephemera. The exhibit is accompanied by the book Native American Bolo Ties, Vintage and Contemporary Artistry written by exhibit curator, Diana Pardue with Norman L. Sandfield.
The exhibit and book will show the antecedents of the bolo tie including Victorian neckwear, scarf slides and string tie slides. It will include an important early scarf slide from the Heard Museum collection made in 1930-40s by Leekya Deyuse (Zuni Pueblo). The exhibit and book will also include new information on patents for the different backings of the bolo tie and will include information that describes how these various fittings allow for more accurate dating of a tie when the date is not otherwise known. Some parallels will be drawn to Western wear and the popularization of the bolo tie through 1950s television shows and movies. Some TV and movie personalities who brought scarf slides and bolo ties into the everyday vernacular include the Cisco Kid, Hopalong Cassidy and Roy Rogers. Emphasis will also be placed on artistic bolo ties created by American Indian jewelers from the late 1940s through today.
The bolo tie has been Arizona’s official state neckwear since 1971. The bolo tie is also the official neckwear of New Mexico and Texas, although Arizona was the first state to designate it as such.
The story of the bolo tie is an Arizona story. This is a jewelry form that originated in the state and one whose popularity spread throughout the West and the neckwear has gained popularity in many other parts of the country. Both Native American and Anglo artists have made bolo ties. Many contemporary Native American artists in Arizona make bolo ties that are distinguished by individuality and ingenuity. This exhibit and publication will bring attention to the seventy-year-old story of the jewelry form.
More than 190 photographs of bolo ties and scans of historic photographs will be included in the book.
The exhibit will open on November 17, 2011.
The exhibit continues through September 3, 2012.
For the opening date of the Bolo Ties exhibition, the shop will be hosting Southwestern jewelers from Arizona and New Mexico who will have their one-of-a kind bolo ties for sale. Authors Diana Pardue and Norman Sandfield will be on hand to sign their book for the show in the bookstore and musicians Aaron White and Anthony Wakeman will be performing in the Courtyard. This special event is part of a new series called Indigenous Visions and will be ongoing throughout the fall and spring. Please check back for future posts on this topic.
Also planned for fall 2011 is a lecture series on southwestern silverwork "Bolos, Bridles and Buttons." Speakers will be announced as their dates are finalized.