March 24, 2013
Cecilia Anderson
Southwestern Textiles: History, Technique, Design

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Navajo, Pueblo and Hispanic weavers in the American Southwest have created beautiful and highly prized textiles for several centuries, including Navajo wearing blankets, classic Saltillo-style sarapes, and Hopi wedding sashes. These three weaving traditions are distinct but interconnected through history, design, and techniques. From the the introduction of sheep by Hispanics to the establishment of trading posts by Anglo settlers, Southwestern textiles reflect the interactions of Pueblo, Navajo, and Hispanic people with each other and with Anglo-Americans. In this program, we covered the origins and history of these traditions, the defining characteristics of each, and the evolution of the iconic geometric and other designs of Southwestern textiles.

Cecilia Gunzburger Anderson is a textile historian, museum curator, and teacher currently serving as Faculty in The Smithsonian Associates/George Mason University M.A. program in the History of Decorative Arts. Previously, she was Assistant Curator at The Textile Museum in Washington, DC, where she organized an exhibition and symposium on Navajo weaving with Ann Hedlund, a leading scholar of Navajo textiles. Cecilia has published and lectured on indigenous Mexican weaving, contemporary fiber art, and other topics, including the standard reference on textile cataloging terminology for museums, and has organized exhibitions on a global range of textile topics. She holds an M.A. in Fashion and Textile Studies from the SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Tennessee.

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