Return to Current Exhibits
Return to Past Exhibits
Return to Future Exhibits
Willow Stories: Utah Navajo Story Baskets
April 02, 2011 through May 21, 2011
Willow Stories features basketwork created by four generations of Navajo people, and illustrates how the role of the basket has changed over time.
In Navajo society, baskets have traditionally held dual roles, both as vessels to hold household goods and as containers in various sacred ceremonies. Over time, a combination of factors, including the gradual replacement of these functional baskets with modern containers, and the strict taboos dictating how and when to weave ceremonial baskets, led to a decline in Navajo basket weaving. During the 1970s, a revival of traditional basket weaving took place, with the focal point of activity located in the Utah Navajos communities living in the Monument Valley area. Inspired by the art of the prehistoric Mibres and Anasazi, neighboring tribes, and their own native patterns, these modern Navajo weavers developed a new hybrid style that use animal images, human figures, and illusionary geometric designs to depict traditional beliefs, stories, and legends.
Curated by the Utah Arts Council's Folk Art Program, Willow Stories features the work of ten of contemporary Navajo basket weavers from Utah, and includes photographs as well as artist biographies.
The Utah Division of Arts & Museums’ Traveling Exhibit Program is a statewide outreach program that provides schools, museums, libraries, and community galleries with the opportunity to bring curated exhibitions to their community. This program is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information on participating in the program, please contact Laura Durham, TEP Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 801.533.3582. For media inquires, please contact Wendi Hassan, Communications Specialist, at email@example.com or call 801.236.7548.
The Utah Division of Arts & Museums is a division of the Utah Department of Community and Culture with a goal to promote innovation in and the growth of Utah’s arts and culture community. The Division provides funding, education, and technical services to individuals and organizations statewide so that all Utahns, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity or economic status, can access, understand, and receive the benefits of arts and culture. Additional information on the programs and services can be found at artsandmuseums.utah.gov or by calling 801.236.7555.