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Wearing Blanket

Arts of the Americas

MEDIUM Wool, natural plant dye, synthetic dye
  • Place Made: United States
  • DATES ca. 1880-1895
    DIMENSIONS 53 x 78 in. (134.6 x 198.1 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER X1178
    CREDIT LINE Brooklyn Museum Collection
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Navajo (Native American). Wearing Blanket, ca. 1880-1895. Wool, natural plant dye, synthetic dye, 53 x 78 in. (134.6 x 198.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Museum Collection, X1178. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, X1178_PS5.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, X1178_PS5.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2013
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION This wearing blanket has an all over diamond pattern common to the late nineteenth century. Also typical is the fact it has no border, which weavings intended for rug use often have thus it is probably a wearing blanket. Condition: good. In 1880-1881 the Santa Fe Railroad came through Navajo territory bringing new materials and the potential for new customers for Navajo weavings. As soon as the Germantown 4 ply yarns and commercial aniline dyes became available, Navajo weavers employed them to their full potential. Designs changed from simple stripes and conservative diamond patterns to an explosion of innovation in weaving using new colors not available with natural dyes, such as yellow, orange, green and purple. On this wearing blanket a new wedge-weave development created shimmering effects with a complex exchange of background and foregrounds that uses yellow and red synthetic dyes, a white natural yarn, and indigo-dyed homespun yarn. For a decade, this break-away styling was very popular with non-Native clients and such weavings became known as Eye Dazzlers.
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