Raven’s Tail Robe (Naaxiin) – Commission for the Museum of Fine Arts Boston
Twined Wool, Sea Otter Fur, Cedar Bark Fiber, Shell, Copper Threads
Twined wool Raven’s Tail pattern dance blanket or robe with sea otter fur trim on top edge and deep white wool fringe on sides and across bottom. Geometric pattern in black, white and yellow wool with long black wool tails in middle and lower sections. Warp threads are hand spun, using traditional thigh-spinning method. Ties at top are spun with wool and inner bark fiber from the Yellow Cedar tree. 2017, commissioned from the artist through Stonington Gallery by the MFA Boston. (Accession date: June 21, 2017)
Curators at the MFA’s textile department sought a contemporary weaver who could create a modern Raven’s Tail robe for their collection, the first such work by a contemporary Haida artist ever commissioned at the museum. After a search of many weavers, Vanderhoop was chosen to create the robe. Evelyn’s mother is the famed weaver Delores Churchill of Ketchikan, Alaska. This is the first textile made by a living Haida artist to be acquired by the MFA, and took two years for Evelyn to complete. After spending months spinning the long warp threads, the artist worked on her loom for over a year. The robe’s release and transfer of ownership to the Museum took place in a formal dance before a public audience of all ages (shown in some of these photos). The robe is now a part of the Museum’s permanent collection. What an incredible experience, and an honor to help facilitate this commission!
Learn more about this historic commission here: https://stoningtongallery.com/22612-2/
Or watch this wonderful behind-the-scenes video:
Photos by Bernadette Jarrard.