Did you know? Fred Peshlakai (1896-1974), born in Crystal, New Mexico and the son of famed artist and silversmith Slender Maker, successfully bridged the gap between the early Navajo silversmiths of the 19th century and the Native modernists of the mid 20th century. Fred’s father learned silverwork from legendary artist Atsidi Chon one of the earliest Navajo silversmiths. Peshlakai owned and operated a shop on Olvera Street in Los Angeles for nearly 20 years. His work is widely collected as a result of his ground breaking designs and consistent use of gem quality turquoise stones. Examples of Peshlakai’s creations can be viewed at New Mexico’s Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian which offers unique exhibitions of contemporary and historic Native American art.
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