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Webster, Laurie D. Collecting the weaver's art; the William Claflin collection of Southwestern textiles.

WEBSTER, Laurie D. Collecting the weaver's art; the William Claflin collection of Southwestern textiles. Harvard Univ. Press. 145p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. c2003. 0-87365-400-5. $21.95. SA

Focusing on a group of 66 Pueblo and Navajo textiles in the collection of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University, this informative volume holds many pleasing surprises for readers interested in the art of weaving. Twenty-five of the textiles are depicted in full-color plates with accompanying notes that specify the provenance of each piece, including such intriguing historical notes as "hung on the wall of Hubbell Trading Post" and "collected on the Shoshone Reservation in Utah in the mid-1870s," as well as identifying the materials, techniques, and motifs used to create these vibrant works of art. In his foreword, artist Tony Berlant points out the strong visual correlation between Navajo blankets and abstract contemporary painting and discusses why many 20th-century American artists were intrigued by such weavings. Collectors and anthropologists will be especially interested in the section of the book that tells about the acquisition of the collection and the collector's skills in cataloguing and documenting it. Also of interest are photographs from the late 19th century showing Navajo and Zuni women weaving and wearing similar textiles. A glossary of "Southwestern Weaving Terms," a suggested bibliography, and detailed notes add to the educational and scholarly value of this book, which will appeal to students interested in art, archaeology, Native American studies, and museum studies. Rhonda Cooper, Dir., Univ. Art Gallery, Shiny Brook, NY

S--Recommended for senior high school students.

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Author:Cooper, Rhonda
Article Type:Young Adult Review
Date:Sep 1, 2005
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