American Textile Art. American Weaving Art, American Textile Artists and American Weavers

(above: image from An Introduction to the Study of Textile Design, A. Barker, Methuen & Co, London,1903)



This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "American Textile Art. American Weaving Art, American Textile Artists and American Weavers." Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section. Clicking on titles takes readers directly to these articles and essays. The date at the end of each title is the Resource Library publication date.

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Articles and essays from Resource Library in chronological order:

Being, Nothingness and Much, Much More: Roz Chast, Beyond The New Yorker (8/7/14)

Ethel Stein, Master Weaver (7/9/14)

Wrapped in Tradition: The Chihuly Collection of Native American Trade Blankets (5/9/08)

Many Colored Weaves (4/21/08)

Pip Brant: The Flying Carpet and Other Reusables; with essay by Eleanor Heartney (11/5/07)

The Great American Cover Up: American Rugs on Beds, Tables, and Floors (7/11/07)

Trees in a Circle: Navajo Weavings of Teec Nos Pos (1/14/06)

Woven Rainbows: American Indian Trade Blankets (11/21/05)

Blanket Statements (9/19/05)

Trees in a Circle: Navajo Weavings of Teec Nos Pos (9/15/04)

Southwest Textiles: Pueblo and Navajo Traditions (2/20/04)

Evolving Identities: Figurative Work from the 19th Century to Now (2/4/04)

American Indian Art at the Spencer Museum of Art (9/25/03)

Angel DeCora: American Artist and Educator; article by Sarah McAnulty (8/4/03)

The Navajo Weaving Tradition (11/13/00)

Stories Woven In: the Navajo Way of Seeing (9/9/99)

Southwest Weaving: A Continuum (7/7/99)

Navajo Weavings from the Getzwiller Collection (1/29/99)

Gifts of the Spirit: Works by 19th Century and Contemporary Native American Artists (5/24/98)


Also see articles and essays from Resource Library regarding Navajo Weavings


From other websites:

Alexander Girard and Textile Design at Mid-Century is a 2017 exhibit at the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery which says: "Textile design in the Postwar era was eclectic and robust, buoyed by rapid economic growth, technological advances, and optimistic consumers. Alexander Girard was an architect, designer and head of the textile division at Herman Miller Furniture from 1952 to 1973. His 'new' applications of pattern and color in textile design supported the postwar consumers' motivation to demonstrate both 'good' taste and modernity in dress and décor." Accessed 6/17

CCNA: Interwoven Radiance is a 2017 exhibit at the Portland Art Museum - Oregon which says: "Organized by Tlingit artist and weaver Lily Hope, this upcoming exhibition in the Museum's Center for Contemporary Native Art will celebrate the artistic achievements and vitality of Chilkat and Ravenstail weavers of the Northwest Coast -- illuminating the philosophy and ways of life for women weavers." Accessed 12/17

Color Riot! How Color Changed Navajo Textiles is a 2019 exhibit at the Heard Museum which says: "Navajo weavers' individualism and flair for experimentation is vividly expressed in textiles from the last quarter of the 19th century.  The textiles are rooted in ideas and events the weavers experienced between 1863 and 1868, the hard years of their imprisonment in the Bosque Redondo, and their subsequent return to a reservation."   Also see 6/25/19 article in Navajo Times Accessed 12/19

Ethel Stein, Master Weaver, an exhibit held June 13, 2014-January 4, 2015 at the Art Institute of Chicago. Accessed January, 2016

Esther & The Dream of One Loving Human Family is a 2019 exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum which says: "Told without a tinge of anger, Esther's thirty-six, intricate needlework and fabric collages depict how then 15-year-old Esther and her younger sister survived the Nazi invasion of Poland by separating from their observant Jewish farming family on the road to the extermination camp and posing as Polish Catholic farm girls."   Accessed 12/19

Fun & Games:  Essential material by Elizabeth Morisette is a 2016 exhibit at the Fort Collins Museum of Art which says: "Work that incorporates toys and games in weavings and basket forms to explore the consumerist nature of contemporary childhood." Also see artist's website. Accessed 3/17

Jan Yoors: A Retrospective was a 2015 exhibit at the Baker Museum which says: "Jan Yoors (1922-1977), a charismatic Flemish-American artist and son of the accomplished glass artist Eugène Yoors (1879-1976), built his career in New York City after World War II. Originally trained as a sculptor, he developed a fluency in drawing, painting, photography and writing, but above all, became an acclaimed and innovative tapestry maker - leaving an unparalleled legacy working in this medium. " Accessed 1/17

Maggy Rozycki Hiltner: Vantage Point is a 2019 exhibit at the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery which says: "Researching ways of depicting cloud forms led her to thinking about clouds as water vapor and then water vapor as greenhouse gas. And other clouds -- volcanic plumes, mushroom clouds, emissions from factories and puffs rising from the cooling towers of nuclear reactors -- drew her attention as well. " Also see website of artist.  Accessed 6/20

J. Mark Sublette of Medicine Man Gallery, Inc. has secured permission to reprint online numerous articles concerning Western and Native American art from publishers of several paper-printed magazines. Included are articles on Native American weaving. Accessed August, 2015.

Maggy Rozycki Hiltner: What Lies Beneath is a 2017 exhibit at the Missoula Art Museum which says: "Hiltner creates textiles that focus on contemporary issues. She combs antique and thrift stores looking for source material, seeking hand-stitched linens and quilts. Her artwork may at first appear whimsical, but on closer inspection reveals a strong engagement with socio-political issues."  Also see artist's website   Accessed 6/17

Mandy Greer: The Ecstatic Moment, an exhibit held June 7 - September 14, 2014 at the Hudson River Museum. Includes online video.Accessed August, 2015.

Monterey Now: Malin Lager, an exhibit held June 6 - October 20, 2014 at the Monterey Museum of Art. Includes exhibtion brochure. Accessed March, 2015.

Navajo Textiles: 100 Plus Years of Weaving is an online exhibit of the Heard Museum. Includes texts and images. Accessed January, 2015.

Navajo Textiles: Wearing Blankets and Rugs, an exhibit held May 17 - September 29, 2013 at the California Heritage Museum. Accessed December, 2015.

Navajo Weaving at Arizona State Museum is an online exhibit presented by the Arizona State Museum. It includes two main sections covering 19th century blankets and 20th century rugs. Each section has multiple pages describing numerous aspects of its topic. Multimedia includes two videos, the first being an "Interview with Curator Ann Lane Hedlund" (Arizona Illustrated, KUAT). The second is A Loom with a View: Modern Navajo Weaving (Sierra Ornelas and Justin Thomas). The exhibit also contains six slideshows. Accessed February, 2016.

Navajo Weaving: Tradition & Trade, an exhibit held February 8 - July 12, 2014 at the Stark Museum of Art. Accessed April, 2015.

Orly Cogan: Don't Call Me Princess is a 2018 exhibit at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center. Mara Williams, Chief Curator, says: "Cogan's hand-embroidered alterations and additions imbue the work with both a contemporary and an imaginative slant, creating new narratives and provocative visions that test the boundaries of traditional female stereotypes." Accessed 11/18

Picture This! Navajo Pictorial Textiles Picture This! Navajo Pictorial Textiles is an online exhibit of the Heard Museum. Includes texts and images. Accessed January, 2015.

Social Fabric is a 2013 exhibit at the Craft and Folk Art Museum which says: "Fabric is a rich material for contemporary American artists who are engaged with social critique and public engagement. Textiles communicate a range of ideas that reflect personal tastes and cultural identifications; yet, they also carry implications about larger concerns related to labor, global commerce, and sustainability. The emerging and mid-career American artists represented in Social Fabric use their fabric-based art as a conduit to question global economic and labor systems." Accessed 2/17

Strategies for Survival: Bren Ahearn was a 2016-17 exhibit at the Bellevue Art Museum which says: "Strategies for Survival presents an emotionally charged selection of samplers by San Francisco-based artist Bren Ahearn. Ahearn's embroidery draws from a variety of cultural references. From old samplers to Hello Kitty to American football to cage fighters from TV, his work appropriates these recognizable symbols to question expectations about manhood and its assumed qualities of courage, vigor, and determination." Also see artist website. Accessed 1/17

Textile Art from Southern Appalachia: The Quiet Work of Women is a 2001 exhibit at the McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture which says: "This exhibition and its accompanying catalog calls national attention to the extraordinary, yet little known, textile art of weavers from Southern Appalachia; broadens the understanding and appreciation of the American public for this "quiet" but important American art form; and documents and preserves the rich heritage of overshot coverlet weaving from this region for the future." Accessed 2/19

Treasured Textiles from the American Southwest: The Durango Collection®, an exhibit held February 8 - July 12, 2014 at the Fowler Museum. Includes press release and video. 19th-century weavings from three traditions are presented in the exhibit: Pueblo, Diné (Navajo), and Hispanic. Aaccessed February, 2016. Accessed February, 2016.

Weaving in the Margins: Navajo Men as Weavers from the Museum of New Mexico/Museum of Indian Arts & Culture. Accessed August, 2015.

Weaving Stories: Basketry in the Southwest was a 2016-17 exhibit at The Bureau of Land Management Anasazi Heritage Center, which says "'One of the featured items in this exhibit includes a 7,000-year-old basket that was excavated in Delta County, Colorado,' said Marietta Eaton, BLM Anasazi Heritage Center and Canyons of the Ancients National Monument Manager. ... Many other baskets from the AHC collections as well as those on loan from the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Twin Rocks Trading Post in Bluff, Utah and Mesa Verde National Park will be on display. This unique exhibit provides visitors with an intimate glimpse into the long history of basket-making in the four corners region, basketry technology and the stories baskets tell us in each and every stitch." Accessed 11/16

Whitework: Women Stitching Identity is a 2021 exhibit at the Kentucky Museum which says: "Featuring textiles from the Kentucky Museum and Kentucky Historical Society, Whitework: Women Stitching Identity explores the significance of early white embellished textiles that have been largely ignored, undervalued, and misinterpreted. Whitework holds a "special place" within the cultural geography of textile making, connecting regional textile making with broader narratives of American women's lives, political participation, and self-expression during the formative years of the Early Republic.'   Accessed 7/21

The WGBH/Boston Forum Network is an audio and video streaming web site dedicated to curating and serving live and on-demand lectures, including a number of videos on Art and Architecture. Partners include a number of museums, colleges, universities and other cultural organizations. See listings of related videos in this catalogue indexed by partner name. Boston College partnered with the WGBH Forum Network for: Religious Imagery in Navajo Textiles (1 hour, 11 minutes) a lecture by Rebecca Valette, professor, french, Boston College, who explains that seemingly abstract Navajo designs are, in fact, religious symbols imbued with specific meanings. [November 7, 2002] Accessed May, 2015.

Kentucky Educational Television offers a series of 1/2 hour videos from Mixed, a weekly arts series starting in 2003. See Program 611: Fiber artist and photographer Dobree Adams, performers from the Kentucky Opera's Young Artists' Program, and blacksmith and sculptor Erika Strecker. Accessed May, 2015.

Navajo weaver Stella Edwards displays her handspun saddle blankets. from Twin Rocks Trading Post, 2008, [03:42]. Accessed August, 2015.

The WGBH/Boston Forum Network is an audio and video streaming web site dedicated to curating and serving live and on-demand lectures, including a number of videos on Art and Architecture. Partners include a number of museums, colleges, universities and other cultural organizations. See listings of related videos in this catalogue indexed by partner name. Boston College partnered with the WGBH Forum Network for: Religious Imagery in Navajo Textiles (1 hour, 11 minutes) a lecture by Rebecca Valette, professor, french, Boston College, who explains that seemingly abstract Navajo designs are, in fact, religious symbols imbued with specific meanings. [November 7, 2002] Accessed May, 2015.

Dr. Mark Sublette, owner of Medicine Man Gallery in Tucson, has created a channel of YouTube online videos on topics relating to Native American baskets, weavings, pottery and carvings. As of 2011, titles included:

For weavings:

Accessed May, 2015.


(above: Navajo blankets in the Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site Ganado, Arizona, undated photo, courtesy of Wikipedia)



The Basket Weavers: Artisans of the Southwest, By Museum of Northern Arizona, Museum of Northern Arizona, Laura Graves Allen. Published by Museum of Northern Arizona, 1982. 32 pages

The Basket Weavers of Arizona, by Bert Robinson. 164 pages. Univ of New Mexico Pr (September 1991). ISBN-10: 0826312632. 13: 978-0826312631

Contemporary Navajo Weaving: Thoughts That Count, by Ann Lane Hedlund. Flagstaff, AZ: Museum of Northern Arizona Press, 1994

The Fine Art of Navajo Weaving, by Steve Getzwiller. Publisher: Ray Manley Publication (1984). ASIN: B000KSDX6K

Hold Everything!: Masterworks of Basketry and Pottery from the Heard Museum Collection, By Heard Museum, Jody Folwell. Published by Distributed by Museum of New Mexico Press, 2001. ISBN 0934351678, 9780934351676. 72 pages. Google Books says: "Catalog of a travelling exhibition which was first displayed at the Heard Museum between Nov. 3, 2001 and Mar. 10, 2002."

Jewels of the Navajo Loom: The Rugs of Teec Nos Pos, by Ruth K. Belikov. 38 pages. Museum of New Mexico Press (June 2003). ISBN-10: 0890134553. ISBN-13: 978-0890134559. Product Description: "Legend has it that a traveling missionary brought an Oriental rug to the Four Corners area of the Navajo Reservation before 1995. Teec Nos Pos weavers quick to adopt some of the distinctive motifs from these rugs, creating large, intricate and colorful designs. Teec Nos Pos geometric patterns and color were considered aberrant to the mainstream of Navajo design in the early twentieth century. Today these magnificient rugs are considered a classic twentieth century weaving and are highly collectible. This catalogue accompanies an exhibition (March 16 2003--January 11 2004) at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Sante Fe." text courtesy of

The Navajo and His Blanket, by U. S. Hollister. 1903. Reprint. Chicago: Rio Grande Press, 1937.

Navajo and Hopi Weaving Techniques, by Mary Pendleton. New York: Collier Books, 1974.

Navajo Saddle Blankets: Textiles to Ride in the American West, by Lane Coulter. 144 pages. Museum of New Mexico Press (October 2002). ISBN-10: 0890134073. ISBN-13: 978-0890134078. Product Description: "Navajo saddle blankets are among the most under-appreciated art forms in the American Southwest, the Cinderella of Navajo textiles. Saddle blankets have played a key role in Navajo life both as utilitarian objects and as a force in the economic sustainability of modern Navajo life. They represent a material link between Navajo weavers and traders. This modest textile has found a context in the cattle industry, inside rural cabins, on the floors of eastern bungalows, on the walls of art museums, and even on horseback. It has served countless cultural and utilitarian demands placed on it over the last century and a half, with no sunset in sight." text courtesy of

The Navajo Textile Collection at the Museum of Northern Arizona: Final Report with an Analysis of the Collection, By Laurie D Webster, Museum of Northern Arizona. Published by Museum of Northern Arizona, 1989

Navajo Textiles: The William Randolph Hearst Collection, by Nancy Blomberg. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1988.

Navajo Weaving: Art in Its Cultural Context, By Gary Witherspoon, Museum of Northern Arizona. Published by Museum of Northern Arizona, 1987

Navajo Weaving: Its Technic and Its History, by Charles Avery Amsden. The Fine Arts Press, 1934. Reprint. Chicago: Rio Grande Press, 1964.

Navajo Weaving: Three Centuries of Change, by Kate Peck Kent. Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research Press, 1985.

Navajo Weaving Tradition: 1650 to Present, by Alice Kaufman and Christopher Selser. New York, NY: NAL/Dutton, 1985.

Reflections of the Weaver's World: The Gloria F. Ross Collection of Contemporary Navajo Weaving. Denver: Denver Art Museum. 1992

The Story of Navajo Weaving, By Kate Peck Kent. Edition: 9. Published by Heard Museum of Anthropology and Primitive Arts sic, 1974

The Story of Navaho Weaving: Illustrated with Photos of Blankets in the Collection of the Heard Museum of Anthropology and Primitive Art, By Kate Peck Kent. Published by Heard Museum of Anthropology and Primitive Arts, 1963. 48 pages

Weaving a World: Textiles and the Navajo Way of Seeing, by Roseann S. Willink (Author), Paul G. Zolbrod (Author), John Vavruska (Photographer). 96 pages. Museum of New Mexico Press (November 1996). ISBN-10: 0890133077. ISBN-13: 978-0890133071.

Woven by the Grandmothers: Nineteenth Century Navajo Textiles from the National Museum of the American Indian by Eulalie H. Bonar, ed. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996.


DVD/VHS videos:

Art of Navajo Weaving and The Durango Collection of Southwest Textiles, The is a 56 minute dual-film video distributed by Interpark, Cortez, CO. The Art of Navajo Weaving beautifully documents the state of Navajo weaving, looking at it's origins and, through a visit with a contemporary Navajo weaving family, it's current state. It features Isabel and Geanita John, award winning pictorial weavers. The Durango Collection, an interesting and educational film, is a tour through the Durango Collection, the most complete collection of Navajo and Southwestern weaving in the world. The Collection is a part of The Southwest Center at Fort Lewis College The film is narrated by Jackson Clark and Mark Winter. (text courtesy of
On The Border: Native American Weaving Traditions of The Great Lakes and Prairie. Featuring three Minnesota artists (Francis Keahna, splitash basketry; Melvin Losh, porcupine quillworking on birchbark; and Josephine Ryan, finger weaving), this video documents the continuity of traditional American Indian arts, as well as the artists' innovations. 28 minutes. (quote courtesy Plains Art Msueum)
Weavers: Contemporary Navajo Weaving is a 15 minute 1992 video produced by the Denver Art Museum.

TFAO does not maintain a lending library of videos or sell videos. Click here for information on how to borrow or purchase copies of VHS videos and DVDs listed in TFAO's Videos -DVD/VHS, an authoritative guide to videos in VHS and DVD format


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