L: Serape, ca. 1850. United States, Southwest, Navajo. Wool; tapestry weave. The Weisel Family Art Foundation, L12.103.20. R: Bowl (deer in geometric landscape), ca. 1010–1130. United States, Southwest, Mimbres. Earthenware with pigment. Gift of the Thomas W. Weisel Family to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 2013.76.16
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Lines on the Horizon highlights Native American art from the collection of the Thomas W. Weisel Family. Spanning nearly 1,000 years of artistic creativity, the exhibition focuses on the indigenous arts of the American Southwest, featuring 11th-century Mimbres ceramics alongside masterful classic Navajo weavings from the mid to late 19th century and ceramics from the 19th and 20th centuries by both unknown artists and those recognized by name, such as the ceramicist Nampeyo of Hano Pueblo. Singular pieces from the Northwest Coast and the first Plains ledger drawings to enter the permanent collection are also shown. The artworks, carefully chosen over 30 years of collecting, reflect an emerging sense that, through close visual and technical analysis, it may be possible to identify the styles of specific individuals who created these diverse works. Even if we may never know their names, we can still celebrate their works of art as expressions of personal and communal worldviews.