Rare Navajo Rug Auction at Autry National Center



Los Angeles (March 2, 2009) -Participate in an authentic Navajo rug auction in the style of those at Crownpoint, New Mexico. Now in its eighth year, the Autry National Center’s Navajo Rug Auction is the only auction of its kind in Southern California. Presented by Bruce Burnham of R. B. Burnham and Company-a leading trader based in Sanders, Arizona-the auction will also feature a lecture by Burnham and a Navajo rug appraisal clinic.

Navajo weaving styles are distinctly regional, and each rug reflects the individuality of its creator. Weaving families, who have passed the tradition down, often rely on their own resources, raising the sheep themselves, shearing and carding the wool, and using locally gathered vegetable pigments to dye the wool.

Auctions play a critical part in the Navajo weaving tradition by extending the market for the rugs beyond the walls of regional trading posts. Weavings for every budget will be offered, from first weavings of the young masters of tomorrow to a special selection of older, highly collectible works. The Autry is proud to bring the Navajo Rug Auction and its wonderful works of art to Southern California.

A full weekend schedule of events includes the rug auction preview, appraisals, demonstrations, alecture, and the authentic Navajo rug auction. Appraisals of two rugs will be offered free of charge to Autry members on Saturday, April 4, and will be available to all other visitors at $20 per rug. Appointments can be made by calling 323.667.2000, ext. 232. In addition, Bruce Burnham will discuss “The Story of Navajo Rugs” on Sunday, April 5, at noon.

Rug Auction Preview
Take your time, choose the rugs you want to bid on, ask questions, and enjoy the day amidst this beauty and tradition. Free with museum admission 

Schedule of Events
Saturday, April 4
Autry National Center
Heritage Court
10 am–5 pm

Navajo Rug Appraisal (by appointment only)
Bruce Burnham and Hank Blair will do an informal written appraisal. Members: Two rugs are appraised for free! Nonmembers and additional rugs: $20 per rug. Call 323.667.2000, ext. 232, or e-mail [email protected].

Demonstration/Display
See how these extraordinary textiles are created, and try your hand at preparing the wool and weaving. Enjoy a continuous slide show of rugs from the museum’s collection.

Sunday, April 5
Autry National Center
9–10:30 am

Members-Only Preview in the Classrooms. Free continental breakfast.

10:30 am–Noon
Public Rug Preview in the classrooms. Free admission.
Noon–1 pm

Lecture on Navajo rugs by auctioneer and fourth-generation trader Bruce Burnham in the
Wells Fargo Theater. Free admission.

1–5 pm
Navajo Rug Auction in the Wells Fargo Theater. Over 250 rugs by various contemporary weavers will be auctioned. Also, a special selection of older, collectible rugs will be offered at auction. Free admission.

About R. B. Burnham
The Burnham family has been trading with Native peoples in the Southwestern United States for four generations. Their trading post serves as a support center for weavers by stocking supplies as well as offering trading opportunities. Over the past 30 years, the Burnhams have been credited with helping to develop several weaving styles, including the revival of the Germantown style, named for the colorful wool that was originally brought to the Navajo weavers from mills in Germantown, Pennsylvania.

About the Autry National Centerof the American West
The Autry National Center of the American West is an intercultural history center that includes the Southwest Museum of the American Indian, the Museum of the American West (formerly the Autry Museum of Western Heritage), and the Institute for the Study of the American West. Each institution maintains its individual identity; however, the convergence of resources allows us to expand our understanding of the diverse peoples of the American West, connecting the past with the present to inform our shared future. The Autry National Center’s executive offices are located in Griffith Park.