“From Debutante to Indian Trader,” is the story of a woman born into a privileged life in Wheeling, West Virginia who ended up buying the Wide Ruins Trading Post in 1938, at the age of 32, and transformed the art of Navajo weaving.
Prior to the arrival of Bill and Sallie Lippincott at Wide Ruins, vegetal dyes were an exception in Navajo weaving.
The couple was responsible for creating a new style of whose impact was felt across the reservation.
Sallie is also credited with starting the career of Jimmy Toddy, known as Beatien Yazz (1928-2012), one of the early stars of Native American painting. He was the subject of the book, “Spin a Silver Dollar,” a classic tale of reservation life in the 1940s by Alberta Hannum.
After moving to Santa Fe after WW II, Lippincott became a patron of many Pueblo artists and began to collect work by Chimayo weaver, David Ortega of the Ortega Weaving Shop in Chimayo, New Mexico.
The Gallery will be displayed with pieces from Lippincott’s art collection including Wide Ruins and Chimayo weavings, a rare first phase Navajo Concho belt, sculpture, paintings, nativity sets by Helen Cordero and Francis Naranjo Suina, a wood carved set depicting a Yei-bi-chai Nightway Ceremony by Clitso Dedman (1879-1953) made in 1941 and more! All these Items have been consigned to the gallery to sell.
I met Sallie Lippincott once, but I can honestly say that having studied her through books, writings, her collection and hearing tales from her niece, I have completely fallen in love with this woman.