The World’s Largest Navajo rug to be on exhibit at Affeldt Mion Museum

Exhibit Builder John Suttman checks out the Hubbel-Joe Rug

Exhibit Builder John Suttman checks out the Hubbel-Joe Rug

WINSLOW, ARIZONA - After more than forty years in storage, the world’s largest single-loom Navajo rug, the Hubbell-Joe Rug, will be on display in Winslow.

On loan from the Winslow Arts Trust, the rug is returning to the town for which it was created, Winslow.

The 21’ 4” x 32’ 7” masterpiece took Diné artist Julia Joe, her daughters, and the Kin ł ichii’nii clan five years to create. This included shearing hundreds of Navajo Churro sheep, washing, carding, dyeing, and spinning the wool, and spending from “sunup to midnight” at the custom-made loom.

The public will once again get to experience this magnificent textile in its new home, Affeldt Mion Museum.

During the Great Depression, trader Lorenzo Hubbell Jr came up with the innovative idea to create the “World’s Largest Navajo Rug” as a draw for his Winslow Trading Post.

In 1932, he commissioned Julia Joe, a well-known weaver from Greasewood Arizona, to bring this vision to life. What resulted was a masterpiece, not just in size, but in technique, with an evenness of weave, uniformity of color, and complexity of design. Master weaver Julia Joe considered this to be her finest work.

When the trading post closed in the 1970s, the rug went into storage, until 2012 when Allan Affeldt and Tina Mion purchased the textile and returned it to Winslow. After ten years of planning, including the $2 million rehabilitation of the 1930 depot designed by famed architect Mary E.J. Colter for the Santa Fe Railway and Fred Harvey company, the exhibit is ready for the public.

The grand opening celebration is scheduled for Sept. 2, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

A contextual exhibit from the collection of architect Max Licher’s historic Navajo weavings circa 1910-1930 will be on display in the adjacent gallery.

Affeldt Mion Museum is located on old Route 66, at 303 E. 2nd Street in Winslow in the 1930 depot behind La Posada Hotel. The museum celebrates the many artists that contributed to the rich cultural heritage of Winslow, from Navajo and Hopi to Fred Harvey and architect Mary E.J. Colter to the modern collective of artists who came to Winslow thanks to the restoration of La Posada Hotel.

The Winslow Arts Trust is a public benefit nonprofit organization that enriches the historic community of Winslow Arizona, preserves Fred Harvey structures along Route 66, and supports artists inspired by these places and their histories.

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