Thursday, August 4, 2016

My last post focused on Summer Spinning, the Star York sculpture included in our live auction for our Turquoise Gala and how potential proceeds from the event could benefit our permanent collection of Southwestern textiles.  In addition to Star York's piece (and many other wonderful items!), we have three truly unique textiles featured in our live auction and four historic textiles from the Frank Waters estate in our silent auction.  The first piece is a round weaving by Mary H. Yazzie, a DinĂ© (Navajo) weaver who is represented by the Historic Toadlena Trading Post.  Mark and Linda Winter, who run the trading post, donated this beautiful work to our live auction along with a book that includes an entire section on Yazzie, who comes from a long line of weavers and continues to pass on her skill to her children.  This piece is inspired by the designs created in sand paintings, or traditional DinĂ© healing ceremonies, and depicts Mother Earth and Father Sky surrounded by four hogans.  Yazzie's expertise and the fine details of this weaving are hard to document in a photograph, and I highly encourage you to visit the museum and see it for yourself as creating a round textile on a square loom is no small feat!  We are currently exhibiting all of our live and silent auction items in our Turquoise Gala Auction Preview Show.  Yazzie's work is shown below with Mark Winter's Dances with Wool book and a Mexican colonial chest that I will discuss in a later post.

Mary Yazzie with  Mother Earth Father Sky 

The second textile from our live auction is also a donation from Mark and Linda Winter of the Toadlena Trading Post.  This piece is by Heber Johnson and features a large diamond pattern with an elaborate, interlocking design.  A copy of The Master Weavers a beautiful book on the history of weaving at the Toadlena Trading Post along with a photograph of Johnson will be included with the textile.

Heber Johnson with his weaving

Our third weaving that is included in our live auction is a pre-1860 Rio Grande striped textile dyed with indigo.  This historic piece was donated by the Frank Waters estate and was displayed in the famed Southwest writer's home.  

As noted, the four textiles for our silent auction are also from the Frank Waters estate.  The first three (pictured below) are from the Crystal Trading Post.  This trading post was founded by J.B. Moore who developed a mail order catalogue of weavings in 1903 and again in 1911.  Buyers could select the design that they wanted and a weaving would then be made to order.  However, these three examples probably date after 1930 when the trading post had closed and the mail order operations were relocated to California.

Our last silent auction weaving comes from the Frank Waters estate and features valleros, or pointed star designs unique to northern New Mexico.  All four of the silent auction and all three of the live auction textiles are on view at the museum.  The silent auction pieces are available for purchase now for the retail estimate plus ten percent.  To learn more about these or our other auction items, see our website.

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