Autry National Center Readies 9th annual Navajo Rug Auction June 19

Monday, June 14 2010 03:00   Western Art

The Autry National Center's Navajo Rug Auction will hold its ninth annual display and sale in Los Angeles on June 19, 2010 and feature a silent auction and weaving demonstrations.

Third-generation trader Jackson Clark II, owner of the respected Toh-Atin Gallery in Durango, Colorado, will showcase more than 100 contemporary and antique weavings, ranging in value from $100 to $10,000. Plus, the largest weaving ever to win the Best of Show Award will be on display.

Mae Jim and her weaving

Since the 1860s and their incarceration at Fort Sumner in southern New Mexico, the Navajo have been weaving their magnificent textiles. The tradition of raising sheep; shearing, carding, and dying their wool; and using the wool for weaving has been passed down from mother to daughter.

Woven in hozho (Navajo for beauty and balance), the weaving then becomes commerce, sustenance for the family, so that the tradition can continue. Events such as the rug auction have become an important part of this continuity.

To celebrate this tradition, the largest weaving ever to win the Best of Show Award at the Gallup Intertribal Indian Ceremonial will be on display. The weaving measures 10 by 15 feet and has been on public view only once since weaver Mae Jim received the award in 1988.

In addition, Jackson Clark will lead a walk-through of all the rugs available for sale. Robert Ouzounian of Persian Rug Cleaning in Los Angeles will be available for free consultations on the care, cleaning, and restoration of Navajo textiles, and visitors can interact with a weaver demonstrating the unique artistry of Navajo textiles.

Without traders and rug auctions, the Navajo rug weaving tradition could not survive. The Autry is proud to help continue this tradition and give the public a rare opportunity to be part of it.

A specfial Autry members-only preview and reception will be held June 18. Reservations are required; call (323) 667.2000, ext. 380.

The Autry National Center is an intercultural history center dedicated to exploring and sharing the stories, experiences, and perceptions of the diverse peoples of the American West.