John and I are Antiques Roadshow fans. I like the stories behind small artifacts in people’s lives; he likes to make fun of how the “jackpot” winners pretend that they are not going to immediately sell their grandmother’s vase that they had always thought was ugly anyway.
The finds on AR are often ugly, or beautiful, or confusing—they’re rarely cute, like this neat-o 1920s Navajo rug featured on last week’s show.
I love the geometric shapes and the simplicity of the figures—especially the minimalist faces.
As I was oohing and ahhing over it, the appraiser mentioned that the Navajo were reluctant to make these kinds of weavings for commercial purposes because they contained religious motifs. That made me think twice about getting too inspired by it, except in a general way. There’s something a little uncomfortable about the thought of using a motif because you think it’s cute and pretty when it has sacred meanings to a group of people. I think it’s unlikely that I would unintentionally cross this kind of line, but it’s interesting to think about nevertheless.
By the way, the rug ended up being worth between three and five thousand dollars. It’s not getting stepped on anytime soon!