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Mayborn Museum Complex
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Baylor > Home > Exhibits > Archive Exhibits > Wrapped in Tradition: The Chihuly Collection of American Indian Trade Blankets > Message from the Exhibit Coordinator

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Message from the Exhibit Coordinator

One of the great things about my job as exhibit coordinator at the Mayborn is the privilege and challenge of choosing the next traveling exhibit to bring to Central Texas. As an admirer of Dale Chihuly's work, I was interested in Chihuly exhibits that might be available to bring to the museum. After speaking with Chihuly's Outreach Coordinator about the Wrapped in Tradition exhibit, I knew it would be a perfect fit for the Mayborn.

The exhibit is a compelling blend of cultural history and contemporary art. Tracing the rich history of American Indian trade blankets from their origin to modern-day roles, the exhibit explores a little known aspect of Native American culture. Most people do not realize that the blankets that we so strongly associate with American Indian culture in many cases were actually machine-made by woolen mills companies for the purpose of trade.

The fascinating cultural history aspect is complemented by the work of American Studio glass pioneer Dale Chihuly, who was inspired by the trade blankets early in his career. The exhibit includes 15 glass cylinders blown by Chihuly, part of his very first glass series. We have also included 6 loan pieces from other Texas museums and private collections, which are examples of Chihuly's more characteristic work. We even have a small gallery in which visitors can purchase works by Dale Chihuly.

One of my favorite features of the exhibit is that it combines the vibrant history of American Indian trade blankets with the work of Dale Chihuly, one of the most influential artists of our time. The traveling exhibit experience here at the museum is an amazing thing to be a part of as a staff member. The entire museum bands together to make everything from the exhibit to the preview party and programming possible. There is an enormous amount of behind the scenes work that goes into making the exhibit a reality and it creates a great atmosphere here at the museum. I hope that you will have the chance this summer to experience this unique combination of contemporary glass art and rich cultural history. "Wrapped in Tradition" will be on exhibit through August 18th.

Frankie Pack
Exhibit Coordinator
Mayborn Museum Complex

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