The Navajo weaving tradition threads its way through some of the earliest Mexican inspired Saltillo serapes to mid-century pictorial rugs. More than a dozen items of this particular art form will soon be on display at the Bruce Museum.
Culled from the museum’s Native American collection, some pieces have never been exhibited in public. Visitors will get a close look at the unique construction, which can be seen in the way the vertical strings are one long, continuous piece. The warp, as it is called, was placed in such a way as to not give the weaver any leeway on the size of the rug, which meant planning the pattern required precision.
“The Najavo textile collection at the Bruce is extensive enough to illustrate the history of the weaving traditions and varied enough to demonstrate the artisanal skill of the weavers,” said Kirsten Reinhardt, museum registrar and the organizer of this exhibition, in a recent news release. “Each piece is an extraordinary example of artistic creativity and technical execution.”
The items on display in “A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions” are from the collection of Miss Margaret Cranford (1887 - 1974), a resident of Greenwich. Cranford began to travel across the United States and the world at the age of 21, collecting fine decorative art, jewelry and textiles.
“Her collecting trips to the American Southwest in the early 1930s generated gifts that are the foundation of our ethnographic collections, in both quality and number,” Reinhardt added.
Bruce Museum, One Museum Drive, Greenwich. Aug. 18 to Nov. 25. Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. $10 to $8 (admission free on Tuesdays). 203-869-0376, brucemuseum.org