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Germantown Red Rug

Culture Diné (Navajo)
Title Germantown Red Rug
Date 1870–1900
Medium Wool
Dimensions Object: 65 × 53 3/4 in. (165.1 × 136.5 cm)
Overall: 65 × 53 3/4 in. (165.1 × 136.5 cm)
Credit Line Gift in Memory of Lyle Gifford Boyd, Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University
Accession Number 2015.137

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About this Work

Created during a period known for the “Eye Dazzlers,” this rug includes several characteristics of the type with its bold colors and repeated serrated diamonds, chevrons, and lines. Dating to the Transitional Period, 1870-1900, this rug was created with Germantown yarn, a coarse three or four-ply yarn, the majority of which was manufactured in Germantown, Pennsylvania.

The mid to late 1800s was a period of major culture, physical, and personal changes beginning in the 1860 when the Navajo were forcefully moved to the Bosque Redondo reservation and given commercial manufactured yarns by the United States Government. The introduction of the yarns was necessary as the government had slaughtered the Navajo’s sheep in addition to destroying crops and homes. Even after the Navajo were able to return to their homes the government continued to provide this yarn. In the 1870s traders and trading posts began to carry brightly colored, chemically dyed, Germantown yarns which were used until just after 1900.

Provenance research is ongoing for this and many other items in the Eskenazi Museum of Art permanent collection. For more information about the provenance of this artwork, please contact the department curator with specific questions.

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"Germantown Red Rug | Collections Online." Collections Online. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, 2024.