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The Navajo Indian and His Blanket (Burford Lorimer Collection)

DATES April 2, 1945 through June 10, 1945
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
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  • April 21, 1945: The Brooklyn Museum opens to the public today an exhibition of Navajo blankets which will be on view through June 10. Also exhibited are examples of Pueblo and Navajo silver work from the Brooklyn Museum Collection, as well as a few modern Indian paintings.

    Superb specimens collected by George H. Lorimer and lent by Burford Lorimer are shown, among them chiefs’ blankets, bayetas, Hopi examples and a fine Acoma dress. The Pueblo Indian women of Acoma wove and embroidered beautiful dresses, several of which are in the Lorimer Collection.

    A most interesting and unusual piece, with pictures of moving trains, celebrated the completion of the Santa Fe Railroad.

    The earliest Navajo blankets were robes and in the making of these hard-twisted yarn was woven tightly into a waterproof fabric. The richest robes exhibited were worn by the men. Also of particular interest are a ceremonial blanket and a Navajo woman’s dress of an old style no longer worn.

    The largest and most prosperous Indian tribe within the limits of the United States is the Navajo tribe and the secret of their prosperity is that they acquired sheep and passed from the status of nomadic hunters to that of equally nomadic herders. The finely woven brightly colored Navajo blanket is the symbol of their economic transformation, all accomplished within the space of two centuries.

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1942 - 1946. 04-06/1945, 010. View Original