Lambert Homer, Sr. (1917-1972)

Widely recognized as a fine lapidarist, Lambert Homer collaborated with other artists who worked with trader C. G. Wallace. He is perhaps best known for pieces featuring intricate mosaic inlay on spiny oyster shell that closely resemble shell inlay work found at prehistoric Southwestern sites. After removing the spines from these distinctively coral-colored shells, Homer inlaid them with white shell, turquoise and jet, creating vibrant geometric patterns. Some of his most spectacular pieces are belts with conchas of inlaid spiny oyster shell. Homer also made inlaid Knife Wings and Rainbow Gods, and he is credited with the first use of the Gan dancer as a jewelry design motif.

Zuni artists with whom Lambert Homer collaborated include Dan Simplicio, Leo Poblano, Ida Poblano, and his son Lambert Homer, Jr. He also worked with Navajo silver-workers Roger Skeet and Charlie Bitsui. Lambert, who was married to Juanita Homer, and his brother Bernard, who was married to Alice Homer, worked closely with their wives, both of whom were daughters of Leekya Deyuse.


Lambert Homer, Sr. (Zuni)
Mosaic inlay shell
Silver, jet, turquoise, mother-of-pearl, spiney oyster, shell
c. 1953
3.5 in. x 3.5 in.
KMA 89.016.1010
 

Links:
http://www.tribalarts.com/cgi-bin/tribalarts/letterboard.pl?read=8956
http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/totems/images/gallery/lg/Parrot_Motif_Necklace_SW.jpg
http://www.nelson-atkins.org/art/AmericanIndian.cfm
http://www.indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=1096409651
http://www.ornamentmagazine.com/se_totems.html
http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/totems/contemporary/turquoise.php

Sources:
Bauver, Robert Masterworks and Eccentricites: The Druckman Collection. Pittsburgh, Pa.: Four Winds Publishing, 2002, p. 44-45.
Baxter, Paula. Southwest Silver Jewelry. Atglen, Pa.: Schiffer Publishing Ltd, 2001, p. 125,140, 141, 196.
Dubin, Lois. North American Indian Jewelry and Adornment. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc, 1999, p. 506.
Dubin, Lois S. and Peter M. Whiteley, "Curators' Introduction: Jewelry as a Visual Language," in Totems to Turquoise: Native North American Jewelry Arts of the Northwest and Southwest, Kari Chalker, ed. New York: Harry N. Abrams, in association with The American Museum of Natural History, 2004, p. 25.
McManis, Kent. Zuni Fetishes & Carvings, one-volume, expanded edition. Tucson: Rio Nuevo Publishers, 2004, p. 84.
Ostler, James, Marian Rodee, Milford Najohai. Zuni: A Village of Silversmiths. Zuni, N.Mex.: Zuni A: Shiwi Publishing,1996, p. 72,85, 95
Schaaf, Gregory. American Indian Jewelry 1: 1200 Bibliographies. Santa Fe, N.Mex.: CIAC Press, 2003, p. 177.
Schiffer, Nancy N. Jewelry by Southwest American Indians: Evolving Designs. West Chester, Pa.: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 1992, p. 52.
Slaney, Deborah C. Blue Gem, White Metal: Carvings and Jewelry from the C.G. Wallace Collection. Phoenix, Ariz.: Heard Museum, 1998, p. 31.