More than 200 area weavers featured at Navajo rug auction

Volunteers attempt to hold up Bessie Yazzie’s 12-foot-9–inch by 9-foot-9-inch rug in preparation for the auction in 2013. Katherine Locke/NHO

Volunteers attempt to hold up Bessie Yazzie’s 12-foot-9–inch by 9-foot-9-inch rug in preparation for the auction in 2013. Katherine Locke/NHO

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - More than 200 vintage and contemporary Navajo weavings from artists, consigners and the R.B. Burnham & Co. Trading Post are up for auction June 11 at 2 p.m. at the Museum for Northern Arizona.

The auction is presented by MNA and the Flagstaff Arts Council (FAC). R.B. Burnham & Co. Trading Post will lead the auction. Bruce Burnham and his family are well known for their work in trading Native art of the four corners area for five generations. The Burnham family is known for their encouragement of innovation and quality in Navajo Textiles and his expertise in buying, selling, and trading has earned him the respect of area collectors and peers nationwide.

The public can preview the rugs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the event is free to the public.

"The event provides attendees an opportunity to purchase rugs at a wide range of prices," said Carrie M. Heinonen, MNA director and CEO.

Navajo rug auctions are an excellent opportunity to learn about Native American art. Native art and Navajo weaving specialists will be on-site to identify handspun, hand-carded and vintage pieces, verses acrylic yarns, to ensure quality and prices. Guidance in evaluating and buying Navajo rugs, and detailed information on each auction item is also available. According to a press release, auctions allow weaver to obtain an immediate and higher return for their work.

The breadth of artists, styles, and bidding opportunities has made rug auctions an affordable way to purchase and collect high quality rugs. Rugs sell from $20 to a couple thousand dollars.

Among rug styles featured in the auction are Two Grey Hills, Ganado, Teec Nos Pos, Ye'ii, Pictorial, Wide Ruins, Storm, Sandpainting and Eyedazzler.

"The Navajo Rug Auction features a fine art form that is the heart of our home region here in northern Arizona. It's a wonderful opportunity for the community to view hundreds of incredible weavings made by skilled artists in a fun setting," said John Tannous, FAC executive director.

In a prior rug auction Bessie Yazzie, from Blue Gap, Arizona, unveiled one of the rug auction's showstoppers. The 12-foot 9-inch by 9-foot 9-inch rug took her over a year to weave. It was a Large Storm Pattern rug. The rug sold for $3,750.

Experts will view and select weavings for the auction at MNA from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., June 9 and 10. Artists and other consigners are invited to bring their Navajo weavings for consideration.

Auction items can be purchased with Visa, MasterCard, Discover, cash and checks.

A portion of event proceeds benefits MNA and FAC. More information is available from the Flagstaff Arts Council at (928) 779-2300, flagartscouncil.org or the Museum of Northern Arizona, (928) 774-5213, musnaz.org.

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