Heritage, Volume 7, Number 2, Spring 1989 Page: 27
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Medicine Tail compelling.
The maps are helpful. The photographs
are familiar, but that cannot be avoided:
there are only so many to choose from.
Cavalier in Buckskin is not as well written
as Evan Connell's recent Son of the
Morning Star, and it lacks the multiplicity
of viewpoints of a book such as Col.
Graham's The Custer Myth. However, the
fact that it can stand comparison with the
best of the Custer literature is strong testimony
in its favor. This is a clear, solidly
researched work in which facts and opinions
are kept reasonably well separated. It
will be difficult to make informed judgments
on the Custer problem in the future
without taking Utley's views into account.
The William Randolph Hearst
Navajo Textiles: The William Randolph
Hearst Collection, by Nancy J. Blomberg.
University of Arizona Press, 1988. $45.00
Reviewed by Prof. James A. Neely,
Department of Anthropology, University
of Texas at Austin.
This well-written, lavishly illustrated
book provides the public with the detailed
historical and economic documentation,
as well as a textile analysis, of one of the
world's most complete collections of nineteenth
and early twentieth century Navajo
This comprehensive collection, representing
more than a century of Navajo
weaving and including nearly every major
Navajo textile type produced from 1800 to
1920, was amassed by William Randolph
Hearst over a period of forty years largely
through purchases from the Fred Harvey
Company of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
In 1942 this collection was donated to the
Los Angeles County Museum of Natural
History. The collection remained unstudied
and known to only a few scholars for
nearly forty more years until it was exhibited
as "Art from the Navajo Loom: The
William Randolph Hearst Collection" at
the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles
County in 1988. This book was published
in conjunction with the exhibition.
In a clear, readable style Ms. Blomberg
has skillfully interwoven the history of the
Hearst Collection and its influence on
Navajo textile production into a succinct
historical overview of the development of
Navajo weaving as well as the marketing
and economics of these textiles. The third
chapter, comprising the focus of the publication,
presents an extremely well-illustrated,
detailed, analytical study of each
textile comprising the Hearst collection.
The single appendix to the work provides,
in tabular form, the "economic history" of
each of its 186 textiles forming the Hearst
collection. The publication terminates
with a bibliography, providing the reader
with the sources cited throughout the text.
My initial impression on first seeing this
book was that it was another "coffee table"
publication. After reading it, my opinion
has changed. The book serves at least two
purposes, and at the same time caters to
several constituencies. On one hand the
work may be enjoyed by the general public
as a fascinating story of how a worldreknowned
collection of textiles was acquired.
At the same time the reader can
vicariously share Hearst's pleasure in the
beauty of the weavings by revelling in the
opulent color illustrations. This publication
also provides a detailed documentation
and analysis of a corpus of textiles that
will be appreciated by more specialized
readers. Both collectors and museums will
value this work as a useful reference volume
for comparative, classificatory, and
cataloguing purposes. Historians, economists,
and anthropologists will consider
this work as an historical case study providing
information regarding the interesting
interpersonal and economic relationships
existing over a period of some forty years
between the Navajo weavers, the reservation
traders (Lorenzo Hubbell and others),
a merchant/wholesaler (the Fred Harvey
Company), and a consumer/collector
(William Randolph Hearst) during the
first part of the century.
I .1:3" ':
/'CJI decorative arts and cultural history symposium sponsored
,by Galveston Historical Foundation and Ashton Villa
May 11 - 13, 1989 on Historic Galveston Island
This exceptional conference features nationally recognized
scholars in the field of Victorian era art, photography,
interior furnishings and domestic architecture.
Included in the $85 ($75 prior to April 22) registration fee are
three meals, all conference materials and a ticket for the
Galveston Historic Homes Tour, May 6, 7 & 13, 14.
For information and registration contact Galveston Historical Foundation,
2016 Strand, Galveston Island, TX 77550 or phone (409) 765-7834.
HERITAGE * SPRING 1989 27
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 7, Number 2, Spring 1989, periodical, Spring 1989; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45432/m1/27/: accessed December 13, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.