A Modern Artist’s Response
The hat seems out of character with the rest of the collection. The cut pile technique recalls that of Turkish rugs. The design motifs, however, remain true to the Pre-Columbian tradition.
The geometric patterns embellishing the gauze cloth remind me of a broken Greek key pattern. I used this design in one of my pieces because I find it to be so solid yet ethereal. The dichotomy of these qualities causes the pattern to have an inspirational effect. Moreover, the thickly woven border is a subtle detail that gives the piece a greater presence. Consider how this square would look and its effect if the border was not there. This attention to details is an important trait found throughout the collection that makes these works relevant today. In this instance, the detailed selvages give the piece a framing device that helps the viewer to subconsciously appreciate the design of the entire composition. The quality of these pieces also encourages the viewer to contemplate the possible meanings of the design, the original user of the textile, and the life of the owner within his or her culture.
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"I still remember the feeling of awe and disbelief when I was alone and walked in the room with those casts." --Ruth Tofle, chair of architecture, winner of the 2013 distinguished faculty award from the MU Alumni Association