On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest Mexican-inspired Saltillo serapes, c. 1880, to mid-20th century pictorial rugs. Featuring a dozen items from the Museum’s Native American ethnographic collection – some of which have never been publicly exhibited – the exhibition will be on display in the Bantle Lecture Gallery through November 25, 2018.
Navajo rugs are unique because their warp (the vertical strings on a loom) is one, long continuous piece of wool thread. Once the warp is set on the loom, the size of the rug cannot be altered. This weaving method requires the weaver to plan the design and pattern of the rug to fit precisely into the predetermined length of the rug.
The ability to conceive and execute two-dimensional designs in extraordinary patterns and colors set Navajo weavers apart from the creators of other Native rugs and blankets. Knowledge of this traditional process is an important cultural tradition that has been maintained through intergenerational instruction and mentoring despite the obstacles of displacement, discrimination and isolation experienced by the Navajo Nation.
“The Najavo textile collection at the Bruce is extensive enough to illustrate the history of the weaving traditions and varied enough to demonstrate the artisanal skill of the weavers,” says Kirsten Reinhardt, Museum Registar and the organizer of this exhibition. “Each piece is an extraordinary example of artistic creativity and technical execution.”
The Navajo were first recognized as the finest weavers of small horse blankets, placed under saddles to protect the horse, after the Spanish introduced both sheep and horses to the American Southwest in the mid-1500s. Influenced by Pueblo weavers, the Navajo then made large blankets which were prized throughout the Southwest and across the Great Plains for their quality as outerwear. Later, trading post economics led to a transition to rug making, a tradition that remains strong today.
The items on display are from the collection of Miss Margaret Cranford (1887 – 1974), a resident of Greenwich. At the age of 21, Miss Cranford began a lifelong pursuit of traveling across the United States and the world, collecting fine decorative art, jewelry, and textiles.
“The Bruce is indebted to the generosity of Miss Cranford,” says Reinhardt. “Her collecting trips to the American Southwest in the early 1930s generated gifts that are the foundation of our ethnographic collections, in both quality and number. Personal letters, maintained in the Museum’s archive, demonstrate her passion and respect for all things Native American and help to frame her collecting strategies. We hope our guests find meaning in her dedication to identifying and preserving Native American traditions.”
The exhibition is generously supported by The Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund, with additional support from the Connecticut Office of the Arts.
Draw inspiration from your favorite emoticons in this workshop inspired by emojis! Design symbols that convey emotion, represent an object or favorite food, or faces that make you giggle! All ages.
3 pm Curator Tour
4 pm Holiday Party
Join fellow members to kick off the holidays with some seasonal spirits while trying your hand at contemporary cookie decorating. Enjoy a tour of Helena Hernmarck’s new exhibition, Weaving In Progress, with Exhibitions Director Richard Klein at 3 pm, and then stop by The Studio and learn how to decorate cookies inspired by Hernmarck’s tapestries with sugar artist and Aldrich staff member, Caitlin Monachino. Learn a special weaving technique that will make your cookies the hit of your holiday parties!
RSVP to Kris Honeycutt, email@example.com, or 203.438.4519, extension 125, by Wednesday, November 21. Open to Aldrich members and their guests.
Dr. Roberto Ferrari, Curator of Art Properties, Avery Library, Columbia University Libraries, will present a lecture titled The Treasures of Columbia University’s Art Collection in the Diffley Board Room in Bellarmine Hall on Tuesday, November 27 at 5:00 p.m.
Part of the Edwin L. Weisl, Jr. Lectureships in Art History, funded by the Robert Lehman Foundation
Image (detail): Votive Stele, Dedicated by Monk Zhilang, China, Eastern Wei Dynasty, Dated 548. Limestone with traces of pigment. Art Properties, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, Sackler Collections (S270).
$8 per child or FREE with museum membership. Ages 2-6.
Join us for a discussion and drawing exercise around Marisol Escobar’s Mayflower (1961–62). A close study of this magnificent sculpture—a box of “masks,” which were carved, painted, and assembled between 1961 and 1962—illuminates Marisol’s aesthetic and political concerns and provides an opportunity to examine this work in light of the artist’s two-dimensional body of work. Led by Alejandro Nodarse, ES ’19, this talk considers the role of Marisol’s gender and race in relation to her art and art historical reception, featuring (via digital recording) the voice of the artist herself.
Space is limited.
David Furchgott, President and Founder of International Arts and Artists, will discuss the acquisition and management of the Hechinger’s collection by IA&A. The talk complements the exhibition Retooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection.
Reception at 6:00 pm, discussion at 6:30 pm, followed by Q&A.
Advance registration required. Bruce Museum members and students with ID free; nonmembers $15.
Bruce Museum to Honor Art World Luminaries at Tenth Icon Awards in the Arts, 2018.
The Bruce Museum’s Icon Awards in the Arts recognizes the contributions of distinguished figures in the art world who enrich the cultural life of our community. This year’s ceremony, taking place at the Belle Haven Club in Greenwich, will honor the following individuals in three categories:
Artist – Petah Coyne
Art Historian – Kenneth E. Silver
Collectors/Patrons of the Arts – Herbert Lust, Ann and RJ Vassiliou
The Icon Awards is hailed as one of the favorite Museum events of the year. Cocktail reception at 5:30 pm, followed by a panel discussion and awards presentation at 6:30 pm, and dinner with the honorees at 7:30 pm.
The subject of the panel discussion among the honorees is “Creating, Curating and Collecting: The Art Market Today.” The moderator is Evan Beard, National Art Services Executive, US Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management.
Thursday, November 29, 2018, 5:30 pm
In 1952, while he was studying in Mexico, the African American painter John Wilson created a mural titled The Incident, which depicted a racial-terror lynching. While the mural itself no longer exists, the Yale University Art Gallery has gathered together for the first time nearly all of Wilson’s preparatory studies for his piece—including drawings, paintings, and prints—for an exhibition that will travel to several college and university art museums before returning to the Gallery in January 2020. Join us for a conversation as we consider ways to approach these works from historical, personal, and artistic perspectives.
Take part in these First Sundays for Families activities!
- Museum Educators will lead art projects in the Education Stations at 1 p.m. Free self-serve crafts for all ages and Explorer Backpacks will also be available during regular museum hours from April through October.
- Self-guided tours run from 1 to 4 p.m. Browse the collection at your own pace and engage in the ever-popular scavenger hunt challenge.
- Enjoy beautiful melodies on the Steinway piano as you tour the house between 2 and 3 p.m.
- Romp in Hill-Stead’s own natural playground of hiking trails, gardens and walking paths.
- Purchase a treasure in our Museum Shop, stocked with art supplies, toys, children’s books and much more.