Heard Museum to exhibit Navajo textiles

A Turning Point: Navajo Weaving in the Late 20th Century features thirty-six textiles that epitomize the gradual change that took place in Navajo weaving from the 1970s into the 1990s, as a traditional craft transformed to include name artists exploring new aesthetics and showing in urban galleries.

Open to the public from February 5 through May 22, 2011, the exhibition draws from the renowned Santa Fe Collection, which was recently gifted by Dr. Charles and Linda Rimmer to the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona. Among the premier Navajo weavers represented with work on the gallery walls are Barbara Ornelas and her aunt Margaret Yazzie; Ella Rose Perry; Sarah Paul Begay; Lilly Touchin; Genevieve Shirley; the late Elsie Wilson and her sister Sadie Curtis; Jason Harvey; Winnie James (aka Martha Smith); the late Larry Yazzie; and other accomplished artists.

This show examines how the perception of Navajo weaving as an art form grew out of the sociopolitical context of the twentieth century, particularly the civil rights movement of the 1960s, when Indian self-determination, Native sovereignty, the concept of the individual artist and the power of artistic expression gained prominence.”

For more about this exhibition, curated by anthropologist and textile expert Dr. Ann Lane Hedlund, and a related lecture series during Winter/Spring 2011, visit the Museum’s website by clicking HERE. For more about Dr. Hedlund’s lecture at the Heard on March 27, click HERE. Also, look for Hedlund’s fully illustrated essay about this splendid collection in the Spring 2011 issue of American Indian Art magazine.