Show and sale at Natural History Museum of Utah features Navajo weavings


The Natural History Museum of Utah is hosting a show and sale of contemporary and vintage Navajo weavings at the sixth annual Navajo Rug Art Show, Sale and Auction. Suzanne Ruhlman, the museum store manager, joined Nicea DeGering, to talk about the upcoming event.

Ruhlman says the Toh-Atin Gallery of Durango, CO. is bringing in 150 handcrafted rugs for a silent auction and sale. The auction runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. She says those who want to “buy rugs now” can pay 20 percent over the minimum bid (if no outstanding bid exists), or they can take their chances with the bidding.

H. Jackson Clark II, owner of Toh-Atin Gallery, and nationally recognized Native American art trader and expert on Navajo weaving, will be available all day to answer questions.

From 10 a.m. to noon Clark will provide free restoration and evaluation advice for people who would like to bring in a rug for examination from their personal collections

A trunk show of quality Native American jewelry will take place all day, including work by artists Jimmie Poyer, Wilson Begay, Selena Warner, Roland Begay, and others.

Preparing the wool, dying it and then weaving the intricate patterns for today’s rugs takes many months and sometimes years. Young Navajos who would like to continue this cultural tradition find it hard to earn a living from weaving alone and fewer young weavers are continuing the work.

Traditional Navajo weaving will also be demonstrated during the auction by LaVera Ambrose. Ambrose is the granddaughter of Rose Yazzie, the matriarch of the Spider Rock Weavers from Canyon de Chelly, Arizona. She weaves with hand-spun wool colored by vegetable dyes. 

Admission to the show and sale is free to the public. Rugs range in price from $100 to $20,000, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Museum. Silent auction bidding ends at 4:00 p.m.

The show will be held Saturday, April 21, 2018, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Rio Tinto Center, 301 Wakara Way, University of Utah.

For additional information and details, visit NHMU.Utah.Edu/Navajo.

About the Museum:

The Natural History Museum of Utah at the University of Utah is a premier scientific research and cultural institution. It opened to the public in 1969 and moved into a spectacular, award-winning new home in 2011 at the Rio Tinto Center in Salt Lake City. The Museum’s 30 scientists oversee active field research programs throughout Utah and elsewhere and help care for natural history collections of more 1.6 million objects. The Museum offers innovative exhibitions and educational programs to thousands of residents and visitors each year, including timely and interactive temporary and permanent exhibits, numerous special events and other programs. The Museum reaches 450,000 people annually and in communities and classrooms statewide.

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