This lecture opened the Mount Holyoke Art Museum’s spring exhibition, Dancers of the Nightway. Professor Emeritus Rebecca M. Valette of Boston College, who curated the exhibition alongside her husband, Jean-Paul Valette, spoke about the religious and cultural imagery in different Navajo weavings, rugs, and blankets that are now on display in the college’s galleries.
Professor Valette earned her Doctorate from the University of Colorado and her Bachelor’s from Mount Holyoke. As a professor, she was part of the Romance Languages and Literature Department at Boston College where she published several books with her husband on the subject of French language and culture. In 2000, she published “Weaving the Dance: Navajo Yeibichai Textiles (1910-1950),” which focuses on the weaving of Navajo women and the sacred role these woven pieces play in the culture of this specific Native American tribe.
Valette concludes her lecture by highlighting the ways in which Western culture influenced and impacted the imagery depicted in the weaving to show how the ancient art form has transitioned into the modern era.
This talk was given on February 4th in Gamble Auditorium of the Mount Holyoke Art Museum.