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Author Biography

Carolyn O’Bagy Davis, a fourth-generation descendant of Utah pioneers, has written 15 books on the history of archaeology, quilting, and western history. Her book, Hopi Summer, was named One Book Arizona 2011. She earned her B.A. degree in Anthropology from the University of Arizona. Carolyn lectures extensively to history, archaeology, and quilting groups around the country, and has curated many traveling museum exhibits including: “Goldie Tracy Richmond: Quiltmaker and Indian Trader,” “Hattie Cosgrove’s Mimbres Archaeology in the American Southwest,” “Quilting from the Hopi Mesas,” “Quilted All Day: The Quilts and Prairie Journals of Ida Chambers Melugin,” and “From Clay to Cloth: Hopi Pottery and Painted Quilts.”

Carolyn was the founding president of the Tucson Quilter’s Guild (1976) and also Old Pueblo Archaeology Center (1994). She has served on the board of the American Quilt Study Group, the Treasure Hill Foundation (Mimbres Culture preservation), the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society, and was recently inducted into the Society of Women Geographers (the women’s association affiliated with the Explorer’s Club; she was profiled in They Made Their Mark: An Illustrated History of the Society of Woman Geographers). Davis has appeared on Simply Quilts, a feature program on HGTV, American Quilter on Lifetime, and assisted with a film documentary on the history of Hopi Indian quilting produced with support from PBS. In September 2010, she was inducted into the Arizona Quilter’s Hall of Fame.

Current Projects

Willard J. Page, (1885-1958) — Carolyn is writing a biography and creating a traveling exhibit featuring landscape artist Willard J. Page who lived and worked in the Southwest in the 1930s and 1940s → willardpageartist.com

Kate Thomson Cory (1861-1958) — This work in progress is a biography of Kate Thomson Cory, a classically trained New York City artist who traveled west in 1905 to the Hopi Indian Reservation. Kate lived in the mesa-top villages among the Hopi people for seven years, photographing, painting, and writing. Leaving Hopi in 1912, Kate built a pueblo-style house and studio in Prescott, Arizona, where she spent the rest of her life.

Buffalo Dancer by Kate Thomson Cory (Courtesy of Smoki Museum)


Cameron Trading Post (2016)
Arizona's Historic Trading Posts (2014)
Images of America: Silver City (2013)
Desert Trader: The Life and Quilts of Goldie Tracy Richmond (Fall 2012)
100 Years ~ 100 Quilts (with Helen Young Frost 2012)
The Fourth Wife: Polygamy, Love, & Revolution (Spring 2011)
Kayenta and Monument Valley (October 2010)
The Hopi People (June 2009)
Hopi Summer: Letters from Ethel to Maud (One Book Arizona winner for 2011)
Mogollon Mountain Man: Nat Straw (1856-1941) Grizzly Hunter and Trapper
Hopi Quilting: Stitched Traditions from an Ancient Community
Treasured Earth: Hattie Cosgrove's Mimbres Archaeology in the American Southwest
A Quilt for the Promised Valley
Quilted All Day: The Prairie Journals of Ida Chambers Melugin
Pioneer Quiltmaker: The Story of Dorinda Moody Slade 1808-1895

 Articles and Papers

  • Harvard's Awatovi Expedition 1935-36, Magic of the Painted Room. A traveling exhibit of the Hopi Kiva Murals, catalog and exhibit text relating to the Harvard Expedition, sponsored by the Smithsonian, Harvard University, and the Museum of Northern Arizona.
  • Quarterly columns on quilt history for Cranston Print Works, Webster, MA, 2003-2004
  • Pearl Nuvangyaoma: Hopi Quilter, Quilter's Newsletter Magazine, July 2003
  • Fannie and the Busy Bees, Quilter's Newsletter Magazine, January 2003
  • Fannie and the Busy Bees, Uncoverings, 2002
  • A Most Pleasant Madness: Eileen Windsor Alves 1873-1935 Amateur Archaeologist and Naturalist, The Artifact, 2000
  • Goldie Tracy Richmond: Trapper, Trader and Quiltmaker, Quilter's Newsletter Magazine, April 2000
  • Goldie Tracy Richmond: Indian Trader and Quiltmaker, Uncoverings, 1999


In the last century the Hopi have added quilting to their artistic traditions. See how their native patterns and motifs are integrated into their quilts. AQ - Hopi Indians - Quilting in AZ. Courtesy of American Quilter (QuiltTV)

Alberto Rios talks with author Carolyn O'Bagy Davis about surviving difficult times, Vivian, friendship, other visits and The Hopi Mesas. Full Extended Interview - Carolyn O'Bagy Davis - Books & Co.


Peter Bruce on KAFF Radio, AM 930 or FM 93.5, or kafflegends.com

Quilters' S.O.S. — Save Our Stories, 2011-06-23
Carolyn interview — the 1,174th for the Q.S.O.S. project and the 6th for the Arizona Quilters Hall of Fame Q.S.O.S. sub-project.


Carolyn O'Bagy Davis
PO Box 85787, Tucson, AZ 85754


Humanities Scholar
Arizona Historical Society
Centennial exhibit
100 Years 100 Quilts
February - December 2012

Arizona State Museum
at the University of Arizona
Hopi Indian Quilts

From Clay to Cloth-Hopi Painted Pottery and Quilts
Prescott, Arizona
August 6 - December 31, 2016

Hopi Summer Story
Prescott, Arizona
May 5 - September 2012

Carolyn and Karen Tootsie, "Clay to Cloth" exhibit, Smoki Museum