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The Navajo Arts and Crafts Guild
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The NACG was formed in 1941 under the auspices of the U.S. Government’s Indian Arts and Crafts Board and the Navajo Tribal authority to help young Navajo silversmiths learn from the masters and thus to maintain the quality of classic Navajo silver work into succeeding generations.
The Guild's standards were exacting and their instructors were among the most accomplished Navajo jewelers of the era, including the Guild’s first Director, the brilliant Navajo silversmith and jewelry teacher, Ambrose Roanhorse.
Individual makers were not allowed to sign Navajo Guild pieces, they could only be marked with the official “Horned Sun” hallmark of the NACG and, often, the word "NAVAJO".
The silver work of The Navajo Guild is characterized by its extremely high-level of overall quality, use of classic Navajo silversmithing techniques and materials, clean, elegant, often modernist lines, restrained use of stamp, chisel and file work and only the very occasional appearance of set stones.
The best of the Navajo Guild’s silver work is some of the finest Navajo jewelry of the 20th century and it is highly desirable and collectible.
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Ambrose Roanhorse, the founding Director of
The Navajo Arts and Crafts Guild, circa 1940s