ATHENS, Ohio (Sept. 8, 2004) -- "Timeless Textiles: Traditional Pueblo Arts 1840-1940" opens at the Kennedy Museum on Sept. 11. The important exhibition highlights the unique weaving and embroidery traditions of the pueblo people, which have long been overshadowed by the more glamorous Navajo blanket and rug traditions. Indeed, few are aware that the Pueblo Indians have their own ancient weaving tradition, which includes spectacular woven sandals and baskets, or that woven cotton textiles have been a part of Pueblo cultural life for more than 2,000 years.
The Kennedy Museum is the exclusive venue, outside the American southwest, for this exhibition, which is the first major comprehensive museum exhibition of Pueblo textiles ever undertaken. The exhibition was curated by Tyrone D. Campbell and organized by the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Santa Fe, NM. This exclusive Athens showing, on view through Dec. 19, is supported by a grant from the City of Athens and the Athens County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
"'Timeless Textiles' provides a unique opportunity to view articles that are rarely seen outside their producers' communities," said Kennedy Museum Curator Jennifer McLerran. "The exhibition complements the Kennedy's extensive collection of Navajo textiles giving our visitors a wonderful opportunity to see a more complete view of the native weaving traditions of the American Southwest."
The exhibition follows the Pueblo weaving tradition through a tumultuous century when many changes took place in Pueblo life followed by a period of sharp decline in weaving. The years between 1840 and 1940 stand as a classic period in Pueblo textile production, yet the magnificent textiles produced during this time are little known outside of the Pueblo world. Aside from anthropologists, few outsiders have collected Pueblo textiles, and these items are poorly represented within the collection of many museums.
The 44 objects on display in Timeless Textiles are on loan from Charles Brunacini's wonderful private collection, one of the few collections of its kind. The exhibition, and the accompanying catalog, make a portion of this extraordinary collection available to Pueblos and non-Pueblos alike, and will, it is hoped, stimulate greater interest in and appreciation for the Pueblo textile arts.
In addition to the regular exhibition hours, there will be a gallery talk led by McLerran on Oct. 14 at 5:30 p.m. at the museum.
The Kennedy Museum of Art is located in historic Lin Hall at The Ridges on the Ohio University campus. The museum is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 12 to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 12 to 8 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. Admission and parking are free. Pre-arranged guided tours are available to community and school groups with advance notice. For information or to book tours call (740) 593-1304. For more information please visit our Web site at www.ohiou.edu/museum.
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