Virgil Benn (c. 1935- ) and Shirley Benn (c. 1936- )
Virgil Benn, who is of Zuni and Paiute ancestry, and his wife Shirley Benn, who is Hopi/Tewa, work in mosaic inlay. Shirley is the granddaughter of famous Hopi potter Nampeyo. Daisy Hooee Nampeyo, who was herself a master of the art of mosaic inlay, was Shirley's mother. Shirley's father was Daisy's first husband, who was Tewa. When Daisy married Leo Poblano, she and Shirley moved to Zuni.
Sunface Mosaic and Channel Inlay Buckle
Virgil and Shirley Benn (Zuni)
Feathers, mother-of-pearl, blue green turquoise and coral mosaic and channel inlay; sunface design
c. 1950
3.17” x 4.05”
KMA 89.016.328A
 
Bolo
Virgil and Shirley Benn (Zuni)
Silver, coral, turquoise, mother-of-pearl, shell, tortoise shell, jet, leather
no date
3.375 in x ??; 19 in. long
KMA 89.016.916
 
Links:
www.sedonaindianjewelry.com
www.americanmastersofstone.com

Sources
:
Bassman, Theda. Treasures of the Zuni. Flagstaff, Ariz.: Northland Publishing Company. 1996. p47.
Bassman, Theda. Zuni Jewelry. West Chester, Pa.: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 1992. p28.
Baxter, Paula, “Navajo and Pueblo Jewelry, 1940-1970: Three Decades of Innovative Design Revisited,” American Indian Art Magazine, Autumn 1996, p34-42.
Schaaf, Gregory. American Indian Jewelry 1: 1,200 Artist Bibliographies. Santa Fe, N.Mex.: CAIC Press, 2003. p83.
Schiffer, Nancy N. Jewelry By Southwest American Indians: Evolving Designs. West Chester, Pa.: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 1990. p181.
Wright, Barton. Hallmarks of the Southwest. Atglen, Pa.: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 2000. p33.