Navajo rug auction

Navajo rug auction provides rare opportunity to purchase original weavings at the Autry National Center

Los Angeles, California (ICC) 4-08

It was an authentic Navajo rug auction in the style of those at Crownpoint, New Mexico. Now in its seventh year, the Autry National Center’s Navajo Rug Auction is the only auction of its kind in Southern California. It is presented by Bruce Burnham of R. B. Burnham and Company, a leading trader based in Sanders, Arizona. For the first time, the auction will also feature a lecture by Burnham and a Navajo rug appraisal clinic.

This year, the April auction took place at the Autry National Center, which is celebrating 20 years in Griffith Park. The appraisal clinic was on April 5, free for Autry National Center members and available to all other visitors at $10 per rug. There is a four-rug limit, and appointments can be made by calling 323.667.2000, ext. 232. Bruce Burnham will discuss The Story of Navajo Rugs is on Sunday, April 6, at noon. The free seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Navajo weaving styles are distinctly regional, and each rug reflects the individuality of its creator. Weaving families, who have passed the tradition down, often rely on their own resources, raising the sheep themselves, shearing and carding the wool, and using locally gathered vegetable pigments to dye the wool.

Auctions play a critical part in the Navajo weaving tradition by extending the market for the rugs beyond the walls of regional trading posts.

Weavings for every budget will be offered, from first weavings of the young masters of tomorrow to a special selection of older, highly collectible works. The Autry is proud to bring the Navajo Rug Auction and its wonderful works of art to Southern California.

About R. B. Burnham

The Burnham Family has been trading with Native peoples in the Southwestern United States for four generations. Their trading post serves as a support center for weavers by stocking supplies as well as offering trading opportunities. Over the past 30 years, the Burnhams have been credited with helping to develop several weaving styles, including the revival of the Germantown style, named for the colorful wool that was originally brought to the Navajo weavers from mills in Germantown, Pennsylvania.

About the Autry Center

The Autry National Center is an intercultural history center that includes the Southwest Museum of the American Indian, the Museum of the American West (formerly the Autry Museum of Western Heritage), and the Institute for the Study of the American West. Each institution maintains its individual identity; however, the convergence of resources allows us to expand our understanding of the diverse peoples of the American West, connecting the past with the present to inform our shared future. The Autry National Center’s executive offices are located in Griffith Park.

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