Special ATA Event:

Indigenous Textiles of the Americas

September 25 – 26, 2024, Washington, DC

Join us this September in Washington D.C. during Latin America Heritage Month. Celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions (think textiles!) of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

Two event packages are available for registration, along with an optional happy hour gathering. Click on each option below for more details

From the exhibition “Irresistible: The Global Patterns of Ikat” Poncho, Northern Bolivia, early 19th century. Merino wool, alpaca (fringe); plain weave, warp ikat (watay). The David and Marita Paly Collection AM45.

Behind-the-Scenes Package

Limited to 15 people

Enjoy behind-the-scenes access at the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), NMAI Cultural Resource Center, The Textile Museum of the George Washington University Museum, and The Cotsen Textile Traces Study Collection, all in celebration of the Indigenous Textiles of the Americas. This package includes two days of curator-led tours and presentations, two lunches, private van to the NMAI Cultural Resource Center, and a $150 donation to Andean Textile Arts.

Registration $350

Wednesday, September 25

8:45 Departure from DC to the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) Cultural Resources Center. We will travel by private van. The pickup location will be near the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, near the Smithsonian Subway Station. (Further details will be sent in August.)

9:30 – 11:30   Behind-the-Scenes at the NMAI. Amy Groleau, curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, and former curator of the Latin American Collections at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, is our host, guide, and specialist for our morning. Amy will introduce us to NMAI and why it’s different from most museums.  Our tour will start in the rotunda, pass through the ceremonial room, and then into the library. We will break into small groups and visit the archives, collections, and a stop in the textile conservation area.

11:45 Depart Cultural Resource Center by private van to the National Museum of the American Indian

12:30-1:30 Lunch at Mitsim Native Foods Café. Mitsitam means “Let’s eat!” in the Native language of the Delaware and Piscataway peoples. Menu options highlight ingredients indigenous to the Americas. We have arranged group seating and a group voucher for your selection of an entrée, side, and a drink.

2:00 Curator-led tour of the exhibition: Sublime Light: Tapestry Art of DY Begay.. Sublime Light is the first retrospective of fiber artist DY Begay (Diné [Navajo], b. 1953). Begay’s tapestry art is at once fundamentally modern and essentially Diné. Begay explores Tsélaní, her birthplace and homeland on the Navajo Nation reservation. From this foundation, Begay develops her distinct aesthetic. Cecile Ganteaume, curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and the curator of Sublime Light, will guide us through this exhibition.

*We will be joined by other Andean Textile Arts friends for this presentation.

From Sublime Light: Tapestry Art of DY Begay DY Begay (Diné [Navajo], b. 1953), Intended Vermillion, 2015. Denver Art Museum: Commissioned and funded by Kent and Elaine Olson for the Denver Art Museum, 2015.266. © DY Begay

Thursday, September 26

10:15   Meet at The Textile Museum, George Washington University, 701 21st Street, NW. (Closest Metro Station: Foggy Bottom-GWU (Blue, Orange, and Silver lines) The Textile Museum Collection includes more than 21,000 examples of handmade textile art representing five continents and five millennia. We will enjoy a curator-led tour of a few exhibits with a special emphasis on the Indigenous textiles of the Americas. The museum also has an extensive library and the gift shop is not to be missed!

10:30 – 12:00 Behind-the-Scenes at The Cotsen Textile Traces Study Collection. Assembled by the late Lloyd Cotsen and one of the world’s most significant textile study collections, it consists of nearly 4,000 fragments of textiles from around the globe, dating from antiquity to the present. Academic Coordinator Karthika Audinet will introduce us to the collection and show us extraordinary pieces from the Andes. We will have time to view the micro exhibition celebrating Latin American Heritage Month.

Cotsen Textile Traces Study Collection T-0308, courtesy of The George Washington University Museum. Photography by Bruce M. White

12:30 Lunch Bindaas, Indian Street Food. Bindaas is a short walk from the Textile Museum. We will pre-order a range of dishes including vegetarian.

2:00 p.m. Our visit to the Textile Museum resumes, with highlights from the exhibit Irresistible: The Global Patterns of Ikat. We will then be joined by Shelley Burian, the Lisa and Bernard Selz Curator at George Washington University Museum. Shelley oversees artworks from the Indigenous cultures of the Americas, and will lead us through the new exhibit Art Uncovered: Visionary Textile Scholars and Their Archives. Afterward, we will have a short presentation by Shelley on the textile practices of the Indigenous Ecuadorians.

*We will be joined by other Andean Textile Arts friends for the afternoon. 

5:00 pm (Optional) Happy Hour Gathering at Pisco y Nasca Ceviche Gastrobar.

Join us for appetizers and our final gathering at Pisco y Nazca Ceviche Gastrobar in the bustling and vibrant Dupont Circle neighborhood. This is an optional event for an additional $30; please add it to your registration. We will pre-order a range of appetizers including vegetarian options.

Recommended area for hotels: We are not reserving hotels but do recommend staying close to metro stations for ease of access to the National Mall (Smithsonian) area or Dupont Circle.

Transportation: The only group travel will be on Wednesday, September 25. We have arranged a private van to take us to and from the NMAI Cultural Resources Center in Suitland, MD. Please see details on where and what time to meet the van. For all other events, plan on taking the Metro or other forms of transport on your own.

A detailed itinerary along with any updates will be sent to all registrants in mid-August.

Exhibit Package

Limited to 20 people

The Exhibit Package includes two curator-led tours at the National Museum of the American Indian and The Textile Museum, George Washington University, as well as a $50 donation to Andean Textile Arts.

Registration $90

Wednesday, September 25

1:45 Meet at the National Museum of the American Indian NMAI, National Mall Fourth Street & Independence Ave, SW. Smithsonian Metro stop

2:00 Curator-led tour of the exhibition: Sublime Light: Tapestry Art of DY Begay.. Sublime Light is the first retrospective of fiber artist DY Begay (Diné [Navajo], b. 1953). Begay’s tapestry art is at once fundamentally modern and essentially Diné. Begay explores Tsélaní, her birthplace and homeland on the Navajo Nation reservation. From this foundation, Begay develops her distinct aesthetic. Cecile Ganteaume, curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and the curator of Sublime Light, will guide us through this exhibition.

Thursday, September 26

2:00 Meet at the Textile Museum, George Washington University  701 21st Street, NW. Closest Metro Station: Foggy Bottom-GWU (Blue, Orange, and Silver lines)

2:00 p.m. We will view highlights of the exhibit Irresistible: The Global Patterns of Ikat. We will then be joined by Shelley Burian, the Lisa and Bernard Selz Curator at George Washington University Museum, and The Textile Museum. Shelley oversees artworks from the Indigenous cultures of the Americas, and will lead us through the new exhibit Art Uncovered: Visionary Textile Scholars and Their Archives. Afterward, we will have a short presentation by Shelley on the textile practices of the Indigenous Ecuadorians.

5:00 pm (Optional) Happy Hour Gathering at Pisco y Nasca Ceviche Gastrobar.

Join us for appetizers and our final gathering at Pisco y Nazca Ceviche Gastrobar in the bustling and vibrant Dupont Circle neighborhood. This is an optional event for an additional $30; please add it to your registration. We will pre-order a range of appetizers including vegetarian options.

Image at top: Cotsen Textile Traces Study Collection T-0024, courtesy of The George Washington University Museum. Photography by Bruce M. White

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