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An ethnography of a creative career in the arts . . .

Gloria Ross (1923-1998) described her work as the translation of paint into wool. This remarkable book, written by textile scholar Ann Lane Hedlund, features Ross\'s decades-long collaboration with twenty-eight acclaimed modernist painters and sculptors, including Helen Frankenthaler (Ross’s sister), Kenneth Noland, and Louise Nevelson, and with several dozen traditional-yet-innovative weavers in New York, France, Scotland, and the Southwestern United States.

SW Textile Databases Temporarily Turned OFF

February 14, 2017

We are sorry to announce that several Southwest textile resources are not currently available online, despite earlier posts that announced their inauguration, which was indeed successful and lasted for several years. Due to recent changes within the Arizona State Museum website, the Joe Ben Wheat (JBW) and Arizona State Museum (ASM) Southwest Textile Databases will be offline for an undesignated period of time. We apologize to those of you who have received error messages while searching for these sites. We are working closely with ASM and consultants to reinstate the JBW Database as soon as possible and will post further information once the database becomes live again.


Modern Tapestry Talk in Las Cruces

February 13, 2017

On Tuesday, February 21st, 2017, Ann Hedlund will present an illustrated slide talk, “Tapestries Made After Paintings: From the Dovecot to Ganado, from Brennan to Begay,” for the Mesilla Valley Weavers Guild, 10 am at the Branigan Cultural Center, 501 N. Main Street, Las Cruces, New Mexico. Everyone is welcome to attend this hour-long program, free of charge.

Gloria Ross 1970

Gloria Ross, 1970

SW Textile Databases Now Available to the World

July 9, 2013

TUCSON, ­­­AZ (July 8, 2013) — Like never before, two brand new searchable and illustrated databases aim to share the artistry and study of southwestern textiles through the worldwide web.

The two databases plus extensive background information and helpful guides are available on the Arizona State Museum’s website at:

Available at the click of a mouse are baseline data and images essential for understanding the evolution of three cultural textile traditions in the American Southwest—Navajo, Pueblo, and Spanish American. Focusing on the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, their history spans three major periods from the time of Spanish governance to 1821, the Mexican era until 1846, and the American and early reservation period since then. These groundbreaking resources represent the culmination of decades of research by two world-renowned textile authorities: the late Dr. Joe Ben Wheat of the University of Colorado at Boulder and Dr. Ann Lane Hedlund, who recently retired as curator at Arizona State Museum and professor of anthropology at the University of Arizona. Of this capstone project, Hedlund says

These tools can be used by anyone to create absolutely new knowledge about the Southwest’s Native American and European-influenced textile traditions. Most importantly, as an anthropologist who studies both living and long past artists, I want artists of all stripes to have access to this wondrous visual and technical compilation.”

Other audiences that Hedlund lists include every museum curator with SW textiles in their collections; scholars interested in SW history and material culture; handweavers and artists seeking the roots of SW weaving; collectors and others who appreciate worldwide crafts, folk art, and art of all time. “And certainly students of all ages, I hope students will enjoy exploring the information and will get it to tell us things that we’ve never known before.”

Though other online databases of museum collections exist, and there are certainly in-depth databases of ceramics and other media, there is nothing quite like these two new textile resources in terms of their detail and query-based interactivity.

It’s also a first to have such stellar visual, technical, historical selections from so many museum collections gathered in one place for comparisons,” says Hedlund. “I know of nothing that allows visitors as much access and ability to query the data as this incredible store of information does. We included nearly every SW textile in our collections, some 600 examples, and just over 1300 specimens studied by Wheat in 50 other public collections.”

Joe Ben Wheat was one of the first two recipients of a PhD in anthropology at the University of Arizona. He is the author of Blanket Weaving in the Southwest, which Hedlund edited and posthumously published in 2003. Ann Hedlund’s books include Reflections of the Weaver’s World, Navajo Weaving in the Late 20th Century, Navajo Weavings from the Andy Williams Collection, and Gloria F. Ross & Modern Tapestry. She also is curator of many textile exhibits and has presented countless public lectures around the world.

The online databases were engineered by ASM Webmaster Laura LePere and Applications Programmer Michael Ornelas,  with contributions by David Hayden of Museum Data Solutions and many other valuable participants who are acknowledged on each website.

GFR Center Transfers to the University of Arizona

June 24, 2013

In May 2010, the GFR Center for Tapestry Studies, Inc., transformed into the newly formed Gloria F. Ross Tapestry Program at the University of Arizona, Tucson. Since then, our staff energies and activities have remained strong and especially focused on celebrating and sharing the publication of Ann Hedlund’s book Gloria F. Ross & Modern Tapestry (Yale University Press, 2010). The Center’s corporate assets were transferred to the University of Arizona Foundation on behalf of the new programmatic entity, an integral part of the University and located on campus in the Arizona State Museum (ASM). This required detailed and protective legal arrangements with the New York State Attorney General, the Arizona Corporation Commission, the University’s Board of Regents, and the GFR Center’s Board of Trustees.


The mission of the new GFR Tapestry Program remains identical to that of the original Center: to foster the creative practice and cultural study of tapestry, handwoven worldwide from ancient to modern times. The GFR Tapestry Program has remained devoted to research and public programming,” says director Ann Hedlund.

We extend our deep appreciation to the GFR Center’s former Board of Trustees, who worked through the process of corporate dissolution and who were always ready to remind us of our most important goals—to continue sharing the wonderful world of textiles with as many people as possible. Thank you to Alice Zrebiec, Ramona Sakiestewa, Susan Brown McGreevy, and Margi Fox, outgoing (and outstanding!) trustees. Thanks also to Ann Bookman, Archie Brennan, Helena Hernmarck, Hal Einhorn, Lotus Stack, and Sue Walker, who were extremely helpful and encouraging during previous board terms. We are very grateful to our generous donors and past Associates, who supported our many programs through your membership during the GFR Center’s many years of active programming and productivity.

2012 Website Stats from WordPress

December 31, 2012

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 1,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 3 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Desert Tapestries of Louise Nevelson

November 13, 2012

Guest Lecture by Ann Lane Hedlund, “The Desert Tapestries of Louise Nevelson: 1972-1997,” Wednesday, November 14 at 7 p.m. in Tucson, Arizona.

Dr. Hedlund will present a richly illustrated talk about a unique series of handwoven tapestries designed by world renowned sculptor/collagist Louise Nevelson, orchestrated by Gloria F. Ross, and woven under the direction of Archie Brennan at the Dovecot Studies in Edinburgh, Scotland. The translation of Nevelson’s torn paper collages into large-scale woven works represents an intriguing collaboration. Inspired by a visit from the East Coast artist to the American Southwest, the resulting artworks were evocatively named “Desert” (MFA-Boston), “Dusk in the Desert,” “Landscape,” “Mirror Desert,” “Night Mountain,” “Reflection,” and “The Late, Late Moon.” These are also illustrated and described in Hedlund’s 2010 book, Gloria F. Ross & Modern Tapestry (Yale University Press).
Recital Hall adjacent to the Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery
Pima Community College, West Campus
Center for the Arts Complex
2202  West Anklam Road
Tucson, AZ 85709
Please feel free to forward this email to a friend.

Center for the Arts      Box Office hours      Map and Directions      Accessibility Information

Tapestries Made After Paintings: An Illustrated Discussion

January 19, 2012

Tapestry Weavers West is sponsoring an illustrated lecture by Dr. Ann Hedlund
ICB: Gallery 111
480 Gate 5 Road, Sausalito, California
Saturday, February 18, 2012
at 10:30 am

Tapestries Made After Paintings:
From the Dovecot to Ganado, from Brennan to Begay
In the right hands, a tapestry made from a painting becomes a new and different work of
art. In each of the tapestry projects that éditeur Gloria Ross orchestrated, the interactions
of the weavers and artists whom she included varied, and so did the woven results.
Between 1970 and 1980, she and the Dovecot’s team of Scottish weavers, led by
Archie Brennan, created forty-eight tapestries from designs by eight famous painters
and sculptors (Jean Dubuffet, Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Goodnough, Adolph
Gottlieb, Robert Motherwell, Louise Nevelson, Kenneth Noland, Jack Youngerman).
From 1979 to 1997, she brought purpose-made designs by one painter (Kenneth
Noland) to six individual Native American weavers who produced twenty-five unique
tapestries. In addition she worked with French tapestry weavers throughout both
periods, interpreting the work of more than a dozen American painters and sculptors
into the woven medium.
In this richly illustrated talk, Ann Hedlund will compare two of these enterprises—one
in Scotland and one in the American Southwest—to open discussion about what can
happen when a tapestry comes from a painted or collaged image.
Questions? Contact Alex Friedman – 415.310.2460 /

2011 in review

January 1, 2012

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,800 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 47 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

A few (of the many!) Summer/Fall tapestry events

July 22, 2011

On August 1-5, 2011, Navajo weaver Marilou Schultz is offering a workshop called “Weaving in the Pines” at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ . For more information visit or call Marilou at (480) 332-2906.

On Saturday, August 6, 2011, author Ann Hedlund will give an illustrated talk, “Louise Nevelson and Archie Brennan: From Collage to Tapestry,” to the Santa Barbara Fibers Arts Guild in California. For more information, contact Jeanette Warren at . On Wednesday, September 14, 2011, she will speak about Gloria Ross’s tapestry career in the “Lunch & Learn” program at WILL (Western Institute of Lifelong Learning) in Silver City, NM. On Wednesday evening, October 13, 2011, she will present “Gloria Ross & Modern Tapestry: Evolution of a Unique Arts Career” at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. For details, go to and visit the Events page.

The Amerind Foundation’s next weaving workshop with Navajo weavers Barbara Ornelas and Lynda Pete is scheduled for Oct. 31 – Nov. 4, 2011, with a warping workshop scheduled on Nov. 5. Lodging and meals at the Amerind in Dragoon, AZ, are available for participants. For more information, contact Carol at

For other indigenous weaving workshops, visit Mary Walker’s website and . There are many from which to choose!

Planning for the upcoming 13th Biennial Symposium of the Textile Society of America TEXTILES AND POLITICS, to be held on September 19-22, 2012, in Washington, DC, is underway. TSA has announced that the online submission process for the CALL FOR PAPERS with a deadline of October 1, 2011, is now available at

CIETA (Centre International d’Etude des Textiles Anciens) will convene its General Assembly in Copenhagen, Denmark, on October 3-6, 2011. Watch for more information about this conference at .

For MANY other tapestry-related events around the country and world, visit the websites, join the memberships, and subscribe to the newsletters of the American Tapestry Alliance and the Textile Society of America.

Brennan & Glueck featured in NYC panel at SOFA

April 1, 2011

Legendary Scottish weaver Archie Brennan and New York Times writer Grace Glueck will join author Ann Hedlund to discuss her new book, GLORIA F. ROSS & MODERN TAPESTRY, on Friday, April 15, 2011, from 3:00 to 4:30 pm in New York City. Art historian Derek Ostergard will moderate (or better yet, “enliven”) the discussion.

The SOFA art expo (Sculpture Objects & Functional Art) will host this illustrated panel discussion, “TAPESTRY BECOMES MODERN ART,” at the Park Avenue Armory’s splendid Tiffany Room in Manhattan. Join us to explore questions like “Why make tapestries in the first place?” –“What goes into designing and making an original tapestry?”–“When are tapestries considered works of art (versus reproductions)?” — “How do modern tapestries fit into the contemporary art world?”

For more information on SOFA and its excellent programs on April 14-17, 2011, click: SOFA-NYC. For more about the speakers and their presentations, click HERE.

An illustrated 2011 catalogue with Hedlund’s latest article, “From Collage to Tapestry: Louis Nevelson, Gloria Ross & The Dovecot Studios of Edinburgh,” is available from SOFA. Many thanks to Anne Meszko, Kate Jordan and the excellent organizing team at The Art Fair Company!