Navajo Textiles from the Birmingham Museum of Art
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Woven Splendor showcases images of 9 Navajo chief blankets and rugs from the Birmingham Museum of Art’s permanent collection, dating from the late-19th to the mid-20th centuries, as well as an essay detailing the unique history of this art form. Select images can be enlarged to show weaving patterns and detail.
The practice of weaving has been an important part of Navajo identity since its introduction by their Pueblo neighbors in the 16th century. Chief blankets were worn by both Navajo men and women and were also traded to neighboring tribes and Spanish settlers, who considered them symbols of high status. After the arrival of American traders in the mid-19th century, the chief blanket was replaced by the rug, which was highly desired by the American market on the East Coast.
This guide was created in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name, presented by the Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Alabama. Woven Splendor is the first in a series of digital gallery guides from the Birmingham Museum of Art.
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The Golden Age of American Illustration
In conjunction with the blockbuster Norman Rockwell's America, the Museum presents The Golden Age: American Illustration from the Collection. Illustration experienced unprecedented popularity in the United States during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The print industry saw numerous technical developments that enabled popular magazines to drop their cover prices, while at the same time, the size of the middle class rapidly increased and their leisure time and income increased. The American public demanded entertainment, and the print industry supplied it in the form of colorfully illustrated literary magazines, periodicals, and novels. As readership grew, the need for illustrators surged. However, like most other industries, publishing suffered during the Great Depression, and photography came to replace illustrations, thus drawing to a close the Golden Age of American illustration.
Featuring illustrations from the Museum’s works on paper collection and a selection of volumes from the Clarence B. Hanson, Jr. Library’s rare books collection, The Golden Age examines the role of American illustration during this period through the works of well-known artists such as George Henry Bellows, Thomas Hart Benton, and Frederic Remington.
Please click on the cover image or HERE to access this gallery guide.