Opening on Nov. 5, 2021, the Heard Museum will present Toward the Morning Sun: Navajo Pictorial Textiles from the Jean-Paul and Rebecca Valette Collection. The 2018 gift to the museum from Jean-Paul and Rebecca M. Valette of their acclaimed collection includes textiles primarily woven during the first three decades of the 20th century. The Valettes spent nearly 40 years collecting and researching the origins and history of these textiles. In many instances, the Valettes’ in-depth research developed valuable biographical information about the weavers. In 2017, the Valettes published the results of their comprehensive research, Navajo Weavings with Ceremonial Themes: A Historical Overview of a Secular Art Form.
The Heard’s Andrew Mellon Fellows, Ninabah Winton (Diné) and Roshii Montano (Diné) and César Esteban Bernal (Chicanx), working with Director of Research Ann Marshall and Assistant Curator Velma Kee Craig (Diné), will be the exhibition’s co-curators, bringing their cultural perspectives and new voices to the exhibition and the associated publication.
Image: Unidentified artist, Navajo, Ye’iibicheii Pictorial textile, 1930s, Handspun wool, wool warp, natural wool color, aniline dye, 45 x 75 inches. The Valette Collection at the Heard Museum, Gift of Jean-Paul and Rebecca Valette, 4930-39. Photo: Heard Museum, Craig Smith