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Kate T. Cory  

 

Kate T. Cory

Kate T. Cory was a painter and photographer who was one of the few white people allowed to live among the Hopi people (1905 – 1912). Kate played an important role in developing the exhibits and galleries of the museum through her knowledge of the Hopi people. Visit the museum and see the wonderful evidence of her work.

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The Smoki Museum - Prescott, AZ

The Mission of the Smoki Museum is to instill an understanding and respect for indigenous cultures of the Southwest.

The Smoki Museum - Prescott, AZ

Designed to resemble an Indian pueblo, the museum was built in 1935 and constructed with labor by the Civilian Works Administration and the Smoki People.

The Smoki Museum - Prescott, AZ

15th Annual Indian Art & Navajo Rug Auction PREVIEW

The Smoki Museum - Prescott, AZ

The Smoki Museum has the Pueblo, a space for rent for special events and occasions.

The Smoki Museum - Prescott, AZ

The Smoki Museum features exhibits of well-known artists.

The Smoki Museum - Prescott, AZ

The Smoki Museum features exhibits of well-known artists.

The Smoki Museum - Prescott, AZ

Kate Thompson Cory paintings are among the historical and artistic treasures in the Permanent Collection.

The Smoki Museum - Prescott, AZ

Kate Thompson Cory paintings are among the historical and artistic treasures in the Permanent Collection.

The Smoki Museum - Prescott, AZ

There are many historical and artistic treasures in the Permanent Collection.

The Smoki Museum - Prescott, AZ

There are many historical and artistic treasures in the Permanent Collection.

The Smoki Museum - Prescott, AZ

Baskets are among the many historical and artistic treasures in the Permanent Collection.

The Smoki Museum - Prescott, AZ

Each year the Museum holds auctions in Spring and Summer, featuring Indian Art such as rugs, pottery, jewelry, baskets, katsina dolls, and paintings.

The Smoki Museum - Prescott, AZ

“The Trading Post” and offers an opportunity to enjoy an intimate shop showing original Native American artwork and crafts.

The Smoki Museum - Prescott, AZ

“The Trading Post” and offers an opportunity to enjoy an intimate shop showing original Native American artwork and crafts.

          

 

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 Kate Thomson Cory - Hopi Historian, Artist & Photographer

 

Born: Waukegan, Illinois 1861 - Died: Prescott, Arizona 1958

 

  

Kate Thomson Cory photograph                                     Butterfly Maiden by Kate T. Cory

© Charles Troncy, circa 1951

 

Kate T. Cory is considered one of the West's most famous artists. The paintings by Kate Cory are on display in the museum.  Miss Cory’s artistic talents were many and varied. She used oils, watercolor, pencil and charcoal; did sketches, landscapes, and portraits; wrote poetry and prose; acted as a movie consultant in Hollywood for western films; and designed book covers, pamphlets, aircraft camouflage, costumes and museum displays.  

 

Buffalo Dancer by Kate T. Cory

 

The Museum’s permanent collection focuses on her Native American subjects.

 

The Migration by Kate T. Cory

 

Cory moved from New York City to the Hopi Mesas in 1905, living among the Hopi people, observing, taking photographs, drawing, and learning their customs, ceremonies and daily routines. She moved to Prescott in 1912, where she remained, sharing her artistic skills with the community.

 

 Cory seldom titled or dated her work. The names have been assigned by others, and usually refer to the subject matter. She was, as a woman for her time, remarkable and internationally recognized for her work. We are fortunate to own so much of her work and to have it on display.   

A Young Hopi Girl wearing the traditional maiden shawl and "butterfly" hair. by Kate Thomson Cory

 

Kate Cory lived in the Hopi Villages on the Arizona mesas, achieving a trust with the people that make her pictures unique. Her paintings can be found today in the Smoki Museum, Sharlot Hall Museum, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.  She is buried near her friend Sharlot Hall in the Arizona Pioneers Home Museum in Prescott, Arizona.

 

Sun Ceremony ca. 1920

Photo Courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum

 

Indian with Hoe 1906 Kate T. Cory

Photo Courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum

 

Mesa with Indian Village in Distance 

Photo Courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum

 

Visit the museum to see:

THE SNAKE MYTH, located at the front of the museum and done in oil, 6’6” x 12’6”, portrays a story related to the 16-day ceremonial Snake Dance performed by the Hopi people. It is the story of a young Hopi’s journey to the land of the Snake people, where he learns their ways, marries, and returns to his homeland.

 

The CARTOON on the south wall reflects Cory’s sense of humor. This pencil sketch, 21” x  24”, presents a rather "satirical" view of Arizona’s first Chamber of Commerce staff.

 

Portrait of a HOPI WOMAN was donated to the museum by J. Evans from Tucson in 2000. His parents purchased the painting at a garage sale in Iowa in the 1960s.   A WALLPAPER DESIGN, a water color, 36” x 48”, that includes Pueblo and Hopi symbols such as Katsina heads, corn plants and others. Cory designed this piece to be used as wallpaper for a child’s room.

 

LINKS:

KATE CORY: HOPI HISTORIAN, ARTIST AND PHOTOGRAPHER

By Sandy L. Moss

 

Pioneer Women: Arizona History Through Art

by Robert Stragnell & Jim Willoughby

 

A Century of Arizona Women Artists

by Carolyn C. Robbins

 

Sunset Magazine Article-Passenger Department, Southern Pacific Company, 1915

 

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