Donations to the May Collection

Collections growth in American museums usually comes in the form of gifts. After the initial bequest of Zama May, USD has been fortunate to rely on several other generous donors in this area. For example, Don and Rita Morgan made regular gifts of objects to the May Collection until their recent deaths. The Morgans were civic leaders in San Diego who began collecting Native American art in 1953. Initially interested in picking up souvenirs from their travels, the Morgans developed into connoisseurs of Southwest and Pacific Northwest material culture.  They donated 202 objects over 12 years. Other important gifts have been received from Susan Peinado, and her late husband Art, who were similarly inspired by the broad collecting example of the Mays, Joan Jacobs, and other donors who choose to remain anonymous. We thank them all. 


Artist unknown, Pit River Tribes
Burden Basket, c. 1880
Bear grass, maidenhair fern stem, redbud, willow, pine root
17 1/8 x 18 7/8 x 18 ½ in. (43.5 x 48 x 47 cm)
Gift of Don and Rita Morgan (A2018-3-15)

Artist unknown, Apache
Basketry bowl, c. 1880
Yucca root, willow, and Devil’s claw
3 ¾ x 16 ¾ in. (9.5 x 42.5 cm)
Gift of Don and Rita Morgan (A2019-2-4)

Alvina Yepa, Towa | Jemez Pueblo, born 1954
Jemez Seed Jar, 2003
Ceramic jar with sgraffito
3 15/16 x 4 5/8 in. (10 x 11.7 cm)
Gift of Don and Rita Morgan (A2019-2-21)

Tiny ceramic vase with sgraffito design Alvina Yepa; Image copyright of the artist
Carved wooden bowl in the shape of a sea lion John C. August; Image copyright of the artist

John C. August, Squamish | Coast Salish 
Grease bowl, c. 1986
Cedar wood, paint
4 3/16 x 4 ¾ x 16 1/8 in. (10.7 x 12.1 x 41 cm)
Gift of Don and Rita Morgan (A2019-2-18)

Rudolph Carl Gorman, Navajo, 1931-2005
Trilogy, c. 1986 
Ceramic vase 
18 x 11 in. (45.7 x 27.9 cm.)
Gift of Joan Jacobs (2016-3-1)