Ganado Rug. Artist unknown, ca. 1930. (MMA 63.47.1)
This Navajo weaving in the Ganado style features a central motif of stepped hourglass shapes surrounded by terraced zig-zag lines and terraced “v” shapes on the sides in black, white, red, and natural wools. The overall dimensions of the rug are approximately 3 ft wide by 5 ft long. The yarn is all handspun in natural, carded, and aniline-dyed colors.
Tobe Turpin, a well-known trader from Gallup, donated the rug to the Maxwell Museum in 1963. It was woven three decades earlier and displayed at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair in the New Mexico exhibit. According to the donor, the rug “was placed in the doorway of the New Mexico exhibit at the Century of Progress in Chicago 1933. 2,800,000 people walked over the rug during the exhibit and it is not worn at all.” Although we don’t know the weaver’s name, she was clearly skilled at her craft.
Check out pages 10-12, and 43 of the New Mexico Magazine (July 1934) for the article “New Mexico Goes to the ‘World’s Fair,’” by Harry Shuart, to gain a contemporary perspective on New Mexico’s contribution to “A Century of Progress” in Chicago: https://www.lib.uchicago.edu/ead/pdf/century0871.pdf
By: Lauren Fuka