Rainbow Yarn exhibit celebrates historic connection between Pennsylvania and the Navajo


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Section of a Navajo multiple pattern pictorial from the 1880s, one of more than 40 exceptional textiles exhibited in "Rainbow Yarn." Photos courtesy of The Lancaster Quilt and Textile Museum

LANCASTER, Pa – The Lancaster Quilt and Textile Museum will feature beautiful and unique textiles created by the Navajo (a Native American people who live in the southeastern United States) using yarn from the Germantown area of Philadelphia through Dec. 31.

The exhibit, Rainbow Yarn: Navajo Weavings, Germantown Yarns, and the Pennsylvania Connection, was created by guest curator Brant Mackley of Hershey, Pa., who owns and operates the Brant Mackley Gallery, and fellow scholars Tyrone D. Campbell and Andrée Mey Miller. Using loaned works from museums and collection owners, the team worked to create an exhibit that celebrated the colorful weavings of the Western Navajo, created using wool yarn from Germantown, Pa., that was sold through trading posts in the 19th century.

Rainbow Yarn focuses on the influence and history of Pennsylvanian yarn in the Navajo culture. It displays more than 40 exceptional Navajo textiles, many of which are considered “best-of-form.” Each piece not only features the vibrant array of colors the Germantown factories produced in their yarn, but the craftsmanship of the Navajo as well. From eye-dazzling patterns, to pictorial scenes, the textiles reveal a history of Eastern to Western influence in America.

To experience this exceptional exhibit, visit the Lancaster Quilt and Textile Museum, located at 37 North Market Street in Lancaster. You can call the museum for more details at 717-299-6440, or visit the museum Web site at www.quiltandtextilemuseum.com. Museum hours run from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 5-9 p.m. every first Friday.

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Navajo flag weaving created in the 19th century using yarn made in Germantown, Pa.

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