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.