Homeward Bound

Beaded Bandolier Bag By Martha Berry

Materials: Czech glass beads on wool; linen, silk ribbon, wool yarn. To the extent possible, all materials are period authentic to c. 1820.

Size: Approx. 38" H x 16" W x 1" D

Completion: May 15, 2013, requiring 262 hours

This bandolier bag was created for a very special exhibit. It made its debut in the New Masters of Old Traditions Art Show and Sale, at the Thomas Gilcrease Museum's new Zarrow Center for Art and Education. This new center is in the fabulous new arts district in downtown Tulsa, OK.

Not only am I honored to be one of only a few artists, all masters and keepers of their tribal art traditions, selected to be in this show, it is also a great honor for me to have my work in this venue. When I was growing up in Tulsa, I understood, at an early age, just how impressive the Thomas Gilcrease Museum collections were. I knew that it was a world class institution.

It was, in fact, a 1960s exhibit of Cherokee artist Willard Stone’s work that sparked the first artistic fire in me. To this day, I remember that exhibit and how speechless I was when viewing it.

My parents waited impatiently for me to move along, but I refused to budge from that room until the closing announcement was played on the public address system. So I owe much to that museum, its staff, and its vision.

Homeward Bound is made using materials authentic to c.1820. The motifs were inspired by a Cherokee bandolier bag made around 1830. I hope I have done justice to the maker of that bag created so long ago.