Fetish Bowl, 1988 by Conrad House (1956-2001) Navajo
Fetish Bowl, 1988
by Conrad House (1956-2001) Navajo (Diné) and Oneida Nation ceramic, feathers, stones 8" high x 11.25” diameter
Provenance: Private Collection of Cecil and Rose Quintana, Portland, OR
This rare and highly collectible ceramic Fetish Bowl by artist Conrad House was inspired by the traditional Fetish Bowls from Zuni Pueblo. The earliest Fetish Bowls were simple, black pots with fetishes of abstract animals tied to the sides or placed inside the pot.
This contemporary interpretation by Conrad has four wolves tied to the side of the bowl, in four different colors, representing the four seasons. Wolf represents protection, loyalty, and family. In the interior of the bowl is a square tile with an image of an abstracted frog surrounded by tadpoles representing fertility and regeneration.
Conrad House (November 1956 – January 2001), was a multimedia artist of Navajo (Diné) and Oneida ancestry. House's work was significant in redefining native american art, utilizing many art mediums to preserve symbols and images of his culture and world cultures.
Conrad’s works can be found in the permanent national and international collections including the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, Heard Museum, Wheelwright Museum, Portland Art Museum, and Navajo Nation Museum.
Upon his death, the Conrad House Innovation Award was established in 2002 through the Heard Museum Guild in Phoenix, AZ. This award is given to an artist who is grounded in traditional precepts yet shows originality, vision and innovation. This award was set up by Marcia Berman and Deanie Harlan.
Special Note: Conrad was a member of the Grey Canyon Artists Group which included Emmi Whitehorse, Larry Emerson, Paul Willeto, and Juane Quick-To-See Smith, and exhibited extensively in the late 1970s and the 1980s.