Embroidered History: Colchas and the Stitch that Defined a Region

Friday, Dec 6th, 2019

All Day

Free with Admission

Harwood Museum of Art

Spanning continents and centuries, the Northern New Mexican colcha is a journey of craft, culture, and geopolitics that is defined by the hands of New Mexican women.  Colchas are embroidered textiles or blankets whose origins have been traced as far back as the 16th century when New Mexico was New Spain, and expeditions packed with Iberian textiles were making their way up the Rio Grande Valley.

The 20th century saw a resurgence of the colcha tradition, with a combination of traditional and modern techniques and materials. The styles and patterns also adjusted, as works were created for sale as much as for ‘fine art,’ to be sold at Spanish Market and collected at local museums.

The colchas in this exhibition are from the museum’s collection, borrowed from a local collection and from the New Mexico Museum of Art.

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