Red, White and Bold: Masterworks of Navajo Design, 1840-1870 is part of the campus-wide exhibition Spun: Adventures in Textiles.
While Navajo artists have been creating eye catching textiles since the late 1600s, the middle of the 1800s saw an explosion of color and design elaboration. Using primarily a limited, but bold, color palette of red, white, and blue, artists created some of the most visually elaborate designs found at any time in their history. Often considered the highpoint of Navajo weaving artistry, this exhibition will take an in depth look at these masterpieces of design created over a 30 year period from 1840 to 1870.
This exhibition will present about 50 of the greatest examples of Navajo design expression. Drawing from the DAM collections, other museums, and private collections, this exhibition will surprise and delight museum visitors with the bold use of color and sophisticated design sensibilities. Showing works created as prestige shoulder blankets, this exhibition will explore the designer’s eye in pattern development and layout—and especially highlight the effect the textile would have as it was worn draped around a human form to enhance the stature and visibility of the wearer.