Arctic Transformations
The Jewelry of Denise & Samuel Wallace
by Lois Sherr Dubin

Original Photography by
Kiyoshi Togashi of NYC

Arctic Transformations: The Jewelry of Denise and Samuel Wallace is a new book featuring the intricate sculptural jewelry created by Denise Wallace, a Chugach Aleut, and her husband and partner, Samuel Wallace. The Wallace’s innovative jewelry explores a contemporary style that is rooted in the traditions of Denise’s Chugach culture. It’s designs are inspired by the people, animals and the natural environment of Alaska. The Wallaces are storytellers who use fossil ivory, silver, and richly colored stones as their medium rather than words. “My grandmother used to tell me stories when I was young, and I incorporate some of them into my work,” Denise explains, “My main goal is,through my work, to express Alaska Native culture.”

To convey the concept of movement and transformation that is central to the Wallace’s work, the book includes eight gatefolds of their major storytelling belts, all seen at nearly actual size. The other eight belts are displayed on double page spreads. Each belt is illustrated with its historic and contemporary influences as well as being grouped with the pieces that originally came from or were influenced by it. The belts, which are seen together here for the first time, are artistic and technical masterpieces. Arctic Transformations will accompany a traveling exhibition of the same name.

About the Author: Lois Sherr Dubin is the author of the best-selling The History of Beads: From 30,000 B.C. to the Present (Abrams, 1987); North American Indian Jewelry and Adornment (Abrams, 1999) and Jesse Monongya: Opal Bears, and Lapis Skies (Hudson Hills Press, 2002). She is currently co-curator of “Totems to Turquoise: Native North American Jewelry Arts of the Northwest and Southwest” at the American Museum of Natural History, New York.

Sample Pages:

Title Page
Bolo and landscape pdf
transformations part one

To purchase signed copies of Arctic Transformations please contact me at:


Exhibition Invitations

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