Palm Springs, CA, October 2-December 30
This story was featured in the October 2012 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Order the Southwest Art magazine October 2012 print edition here, or purchase the Southwest Art magazine October 2012 digital download here. Or subscribe to Southwest Art magazine and never miss a story!
When the Palm Springs Art Museum was founded in 1938, it specialized in Native American artifacts. Today the museum, located in the heart of downtown Palm Springs, is also home to a wide variety of contemporary art, including works by Henry Moore, Pablo Picasso, and Marc Chagall. But this month the museum returns to its historic roots with an exhibition titled Southwest Textiles and Native American Art From the Permanent Collection, which opens on October 2.
The show includes some 70 Navajo, Pueblo, and Hopi blankets, rugs, and pictorial weavings dating from the 1870s to the 1980s; the textiles are accompanied by pottery, basketry, and kachinas. “What impressed me most about working with this collection is the rich variety of designs, the use of color, and the large scale that these artists worked with,” says curator Christine Giles. “Spanning 100 years, each example in this show was created by a master weaver. Woven for use, either as blankets or rugs, these textiles are not only visually dynamic but also convey a tactile and sensual experience.”
The works on display range from simple woven blankets used in daily life to the bolder geometric designs of Chief’s blankets. Also on view are textiles from the Transitional Period (1868-1890), which were created with newly introduced synthetic dyes that offered a much greater color range. They were often called Germantown blankets, referring to the city in Pennsylvania where the dyes were created. This period also saw the introduction of pictorial elements that reflected the expansion of the railroad and ranching into the Southwest.
Finally, the exhibit presents examples from the Regional Rug Period (1890-1930), during which distinctive regional styles emerged around the trading posts scattered across the Southwest. The designs of these weavings, combined with the fine hand-crafted quality, also resonated with the Arts & Crafts movement of the time.
The textile exhibit is sponsored by the museum’s Western Art Council and the Terra Foundation for American Art. —Bonnie Gangelhoff
Featured in the October 2012 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art magazine October 2012 digital download
Southwest Art magazine October 2012 print edition
Or subscribe to Southwest Art magazine and never miss a story!
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