Carter Manny Award

  • Archival Ruins: Dennis Numkena and Hopi Art History
    Danya Epstein

Dennis Numkena, Anasazi Plaza, Phoenix, Arizona, completed ca. 1984. Photo: Brittany Corrales, 2021

Danya Epstein, Southern Methodist University, Meadows School of the Arts, Rhetorics of Art, Space and Culture program, is the recipient of the 2021–22 Carter Manny Research Award.

The Phoenix-based Hopi artist and architect Dennis Numkena (1941–2010) was a polymath practitioner who broke barriers for Native Americans as the first Native American architect to helm his own firm. Yet, Numkena’s work has escaped scholarly purview, and his name has not yet entered the canon of twentieth-century Native American artists despite the recent enthusiasm for a revisionist approach that includes Indigenous voices. This project offers the first sustained scholarly interpretation of Numkena’s career and, with it, an analysis and critique of the way in which the archive of Native American art has been produced, arguing for the role of Numkena as a key figure in Native American art history of the late twentieth century.

Danya Epstein is a doctoral candidate in art history at Southern Methodist University. She has an master's from Arizona State University and a bachelor of arts from Princeton University. Her interests include art and architectural history of the American Southwest, Native American art, and theories of the archive.