‘The People’s Tapestry: Weaving Tradition in Navajo Culture’ Exhibition Opening
The People’s Tapestry: Weaving Tradition in Navajo Culture will be on display at the Moab Museum beginning in mid-June with an opening reception for Members on June 22nd.The exhibition features contributions from the Utah Division of Arts and Museums’ traveling exhibition, Weaving the Future. The People’s Tapestry is designed to celebrate the local Navajo community by highlighting their weaving tradition, share the storytelling and spiritual roots of weaving, and nod to the traditions that are still alive today.
Harvey Leake, the foremost authority on his Southeast Utah pioneer ancestors, John and Louisa Wetherill, will deliver opening remarks around 6:30/6:45 p.m. Leake will share “A Passion for Beauty: Slim Woman and Her Navajo Blankets” — Several members of the Wetherill family ran trading posts in the Navajo (Diné) territory in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It was during the classic period of Navajo textile creativity, and a time when rare specimens of their earlier handiwork could sometimes be obtained. Harvey Leake’s great-grandmother, Louisa Wade Wetherill (known as Slim Woman to her neighbors), lived with the People for over forty years and was intensely interested in understanding and documenting their traditional ways of life. She and her husband John displayed many outstanding Navajo textiles in their museum-like house in Kayenta, Arizona. Prior to their passing in the mid-1940s, they bequeathed some of their woven treasures to their granddaughters, several of which are displayed in the new exhibit.
Louisa and John Wetherill also preserved thousands of historic photographs, taken down through the decades, which provide a visual record of their remarkable story. Mr. Leake will provide an illustrated narrative of his great-grandmother’s growing appreciation for the exceptional beauty of her friends’ creations and the significance of some of the weavings she collected.
Museum admission is required to attend. For current Moab Museum Members, admission is always free, as are exhibition openings. To become a member today please visit: https://moabmuseum.org/become-member/