Marcia Docter discovered Charles Loloma and the Wheelwright Museum in 2005. “I never knew that anybody had made jewelry like that. I wanted to know how I could get involved in the museum.” Docter, an artist, a passionate collector with wide-ranging interests, and a committed trustee of the Museum of Art and Design in New York, knows all too well how difficult it is for a museum to create an entirely new vision and mission.

Docter’s decision to fund this staff position at the Wheelwright Museum is rooted in her love of jewelry, but her reasons for collecting are different than those of the typical collector. “I do not collect jewelry so I can wear it, but so it can be preserved as a great tradition.” She is also drawn to the museum for its emphasis on deep documentation and research. “I want people to have a perspective on important pieces and important influences. I want the younger generation to learn and keep this tradition alive.”

Marcia Docter’s connection to the Wheelwright is thanks in part to jewelry scholar Dexter Cirillo, who is both a long-standing friend of the museum and a close friend of Docter’s. We are grateful to both of them for truly grasping what we aim to accomplish with our new permanent gallery, devoted to jewelry traditions of the Southwest.

Falkenstien-Doyle, curator of the Wheelwright since 1998, has been researching the origins of silversmithing in the Southwest, carefully retracing the footsteps of the first two noted scholars of jewelry-Washington Matthews and John Adair-both of whose archives are owned by the museum. She has also organized several exhibitions of jewelry and related art forms for the museum.

The museum is grateful to Marcia Docter for her generosity and her enthusiastic encouragement.

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Bracelet by Charles Loloma (Hopi), 1974. Cast and fabricated silver with interlocking carved wood, coral, turquoise, and ivory. Loloma made this bracelet for a 1974 sales show at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts, New York (now the Museum of Art and Design). Museum purchase with funds donated by Jim and Jeanne Manning, an anonymous donor, and the Wheelwright Museum Collectors’ Circle.