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Summer Navajo rug auction June 22 at Museum of Northern Arizona

A volunteer displays a rug at last year’s auction. Photo/Michele Mountain

A volunteer displays a rug at last year’s auction. Photo/Michele Mountain

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - In collaboration with Flagstaff Cultural Partners (FCP), the Museum of Northern Arizona (MNA) will play host to a summer Navajo Rug Auction June 22. The auction will feature more than 200 vintage and contemporary Navajo weavings from artists, consigners and the R. B. Burnham & Co. Trading Post. Rug styles on auction include Two Grey Hills, Ganado, Teec Nos Pos, Ye'ii, Pictorial, Wide Ruins, Storm, Sandpainting, and Eyedazzler.

A public preview of all the weavings takes place the morning of the auction from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. The live auction begins at 2 p.m. and is free to the public. A portion of the proceeds from this event will provide support for Flagstaff Cultural Partners and MNA.

MNA accepts consignments for the auctions. Artists and other consigners can bring their Navajo weavings to the museum June 19 through June 21, 9 a.m.-noon. and 1-5 p.m. Experts will be on hand to view and select weavings.

Auctioneers from the 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 region for five generations. Burnham has been a trader to the Navajo for more than forty years and is also the auctioneer for the Hubbell Trading Post in Ganado, Ariz. He and his wife Virginia own and operate the Burnham Trading Post and Collector's Gallery in Sanders, Ariz. The Burnham family is known for their encouragement of innovation and quality in Navajo textiles, and Burnham's expertise in buying, selling and trading has earned him the respect of area collectors and peers nationwide.

Specialists and experts in the field of Native art and Navajo weaving will be on-site to identify handspun, hand-carded, and vintage pieces, versus acrylic yarns, to ensure quality items and prices for the auction. Information on how to evaluate and buy Navajo rugs will also be available.

Museum officials said in a press release that Navajo rugs are a good investment. Historically, the value of rugs has appreciated with time, and in recent years, Navajo rugs have outdistanced many other investment options for their return on investment. 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 several thousand dollars.

Navajo rug auctions are an excellent opportunity to learn more about Native art. Before the auction, those in attendance can hold rugs and appreciate them up close. Detailed information and discussion about a specific piece, artist, and other aspects of the weavings will be available before and after the auction from experts in the field of Navajo weaving and culture. It is important to note that auctions allow weavers to obtain an immediate and higher return for their work.

More information is available at (928) 774-5213, musnaz.org or culturalpartners.org.

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