Moab Happenings Archive
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The People’s Tapestry and Weaving Demonstrations
by Moab Museum Staff

“The People’s Tapestry: Weaving Tradition in Navajo Culture” features contributions from a number of personal collections located around the Four Corners region.

The Moab Museum is honored to present a new temporary exhibition, The People’s Tapestry: Weaving Tradition in Navajo Culture, a celebration of the magnificent weavings created by the Diné (which means “the people” in Navajo). Diné textiles reflect the concept of hózhóó, or balance and harmony, which is reflected in the primarily symmetrical designs. Balance and harmony bring beauty and a sense of well-being.

The People’s Tapestry provides a space for storytelling by The People through weaving demonstrations and approximately 100 textiles displayed in the spirit of historic trading posts across the four corners region. Historic photographs highlight weaving scenes from centuries ago, while contemporary images of heritage sheep shearing remind guests of a deeply rooted tradition that thrives still, today. Interpretive text introduces historical events that influenced weaving styles, and the symbolism inherent in their designs. The significance of Diné textiles transcends artistic expression; weavers beautify their world through the spiritual act of weaving and integrate their art into the web of everyday life. The Navajo weaver’s song declares, “With beauty, it is woven.” We hope that the spirit and aesthetic of these powerful pieces will inspire you to experience the land and the tradition of the Diné beyond the walls of the Moab Museum. The exhibition will be on display at the Moab Museum through the winter of 2023.

August Textile Programs
Sam Cunningham, owner of Cunnington Farms in Spanish Valley, which is home to a number of heritage sheep breeds including the Navajo Churro, will be giving a presentation titled “The Legacy of Joe Ben Wheat: Internationally Renowned Archaeologist and Expert on Southwestern Textiles” at 6 pm on Thursday, August 17th at the Moab Museum. This presentation serves as an opportunity to learn about the Navajo Churro sheep wool and its importance to Navajo weaving.

Bates Wilson, Superintendent of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, stands in front of a National Park Service map – the focus of the third Rangers at the Museum program in August.

Master weavers Maxine Nez and her father, Joe Lee Benally, will be at the Moab Museum on Friday and Saturday, August 25th and 26th for weaving demonstrations in the South Gallery. Nez, whose family centers around Chinle, Arizona, comes from a tradition of weavers. Nez loves to experiment with any kind of art and/or craft and has made lovely Christmas pins with basketry detail, many original fiber products, and now Nez has perfected a new type of Navajo rug with old roots, the Churro Wool Tufted Navajo Rug. Stop by to see her weaving progress and hear her speak to the significance of the art form.

Rangers at the Museum: National Park Service | Moab Museum
Join National Park Service Rangers for several FREE public presentations throughout the summer at the Moab Museum. On Tuesday, August 15 at 2 pm, Ranger Robert Anderson presents “Founding Fathers: The Political Establishment of Canyonlands National Park.” Come learn what the Atomic Energy Commission, a leathery cowboy, and a slick DC politician had in common in the creation of Canyonlands National Park. And on Thursday, August 24 at 2 pm, Ranger Ash Hightower presents “Leaving a Mark,” a discussion on historic rock inscriptions, modern graffiti, and where they intersect, as humans continue to leave their mark in the places they visit.

Moab Museum’s School to Science Intern Curates New Exhibits
at the Grand County Public Library
by Moab Museum Staff

Throughout the spring and summer, the Moab Museum hosted a recent graduate of Grand County High School Kierra Kirks as an intern through Science Moab’s School to Science Program.

Kierra’s interests in geology and science communication gave her exposure to several facets of the Museum throughout her School to Science internship this spring/summer. She worked with previously unidentified minerals within the Museum Collection and advanced her own understanding of the exhibit design process to curate two exhibit updates to the exhibit on display at the Grand County Public Library.

The new exhibits focus on mineral pigments and their use by different cultural groups (mineral use in pictographs, uranium as a pigment, and various colors found in Katsintithu), and an introduction to the history of uranium mining in the Moab Valley and Southeast Utah.

The exhibits will be on display for a full calendar year at the Grand County Public Library.

Grand County Public Library hours:
Monday-Frirday 9am-8pm
Saturday 9am-5pm
257 E. Center Street, Moab, Utah


The Moab Museum is pleased to announce a semi-permanent exhibition entitled Spirit & Grit, which has recently opened at the Dead Horse Point State Park visitor center. Spirit & Grit tells the story of settlers who pieced together a hardscrabble living in early Moab, from the 1870s onward. Visitors to Spirit & Grit experience a window into the lives of some of these early settlers through this immersive satellite exhibit.

Spirit & Grit, an extension of stories told at the Moab Museum, was curated by Tara Beresh, Moab Museum’s Curatorial and Collections Manager, in collaboration with the Moab Museum of Film and Western Heritage (MMFWH) and with assistance from lifelong Moabite and local historian Mark Beeson. Featuring historic photographs, objects, stories, and a life-sized cow camp, the exhibition paints a vibrant portrait of ranch life in the area of Canyonlands at the turn of the twentieth century.

Movie & Western Memorabilia Museum at Red Cliffs Lodge

Indiana Jones PosterRed Cliffs Lodge, on the banks of the mighty Colorado River, is home to the Moab Museum of Film & Western Heritage. The lodge is built on the old George White Ranch, a key location for nine of the big westerns including Rio Grande, Cheyenne Autumn, Ten Who Dared, The Commancheros, and Rio Conchos.

The late George White was founder of the Moab to Monument Valley Film Commission, the longest ongoing film commission in the world.

In the museum one can learn more about film locations, how the sets are built, and how the filming process is managed on nature’s own sound stage. On display in the museum are production photographs, movie posters, autographed scripts, props from the many pictures filmed in the area, and displays about the western ranching heritage. For information, call Red Cliffs Lodge at 435-259-2002.

Rio Grande Through the magnificent landscapes of southeastern Utah, writers have been inspired and stories born here. Zane Grey, the famous western novelist, traveled through the area in 1912. His visit inspired him to write his book Riders of the Purple Sage. The book was made into a movie starring Ed Harris and Amy Madigan, and filmed on locations around Moab.

A partial list of stars that have made movies in Moab
John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Henry Fonda, Lee Marvin,
Rock Hudson, Jimmy Stewart, Richard Boone, Anthony Quinn,
Mickey Rooney, Shirley Temple, Kris Kristofferson, Billy Crystal,
Robert Duvall, Gene Hackman, Bill Murray, Jack Palance, Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Ted Danson, Tom Cruise, and many more.

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