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SANTA FE  NEW MEXICO

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This is a marvelous example of the famous “It’s a Kiva Bag” created by Cherokee fashion designer and educator, Lloyd Kiva New (1916-2002) for his famous Fifth Avenue atelier in Scottsdale, Arizona in the late 1950’s. Kiva New recruited his friend and tenant, the brilliant young Hopi ceramic artist and jeweler Charles Loloma to make the cast-metal ornaments for the bags and fashion history was made, the first true synthesis between the world of high fashion and American Indian art. Kiva New would go on to establish and lead the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe in 1962 and Loloma would go on to be one of the very first instructors there and would eventually become the most renowned Native American jeweler in history and their first collaboration on pieces such as this handbag remains a very special historic high water mark as well as beautiful, extremely functional and wearable high fashion.


The bag is very finely-crafted with beautifully-stitched and gusseted deep olive green leather and it is a lovely and very wearable size and shape. It measures 15” in height by 12” in width at the widest point and it is 4” deep with a

6 1/2” handle drop. The bag features three interior pockets, one of which is zippered and one exterior pocket on the back. The bag is perfectly decorated on the front with three gorgeous cast metal ornaments made by Charles Loloma. This is the only example of an “It’s a Kiva” bag that we have ever seen which features more than one such metal ornament. The bag is in extraordinarily excellent, near pristine original condition and it has only been rarely, if ever, used. The bag bears a gold metallic-colored interior tag indicating that it was originally made for a woman named Mary Harmon. This tag reads as follows: “Styled for Mary Harmon by Lloyd Kiva.”


Lloyd Kiva New’s immense contributions to the art world and the 100th Anniversary of his birth are being honored this year by no less than three separate important exhibitions at three major museums here in Santa Fe; First, at The Institute for American Indian Arts’, MOCNA Museum, an institution which Lloyd Kiva New himself originally founded and directed for many years, second, at The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture and, third, at The New Mexico Museum of Art. The first two exhibits are already up and running, the third opens in May, 2016.


Be the height of fashion in Santa Fe and elsewhere this year with this outstanding example of the brilliant work of the talented artist and influential educator who first brought together the worlds of high fashion and american Indian art in such a beautiful and enduring way.



Price $4,500



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A vintage Lloyd Kiva New and Charles Loloma leather and cast metal handbag, circa 1956-59

This is the original Lloyd Kiva New paper tag that came attached to this handbag when it was originally purchased