[Maximilian Period Saltillo Sarape
Collection of James H. Collins and Mark Winter,
This week, over at Tumblr, I've been posting striped things including a fun Mexican beach blanket, so it was perfect timing yesterday when I stumbled across a review of Thomas McCormick's Saltillo Sarapes: A Survey: 1850-1920 in Hali's spring 2012 issue. The magazine's piece deals specifically with the exhibition catalogue and is definitely worth a read if you're interested in learning more about these Latin American textiles.
Now iconic symbols of Mexico, Saltillo sarapes, to paraphrase Hali, are a sort of Tlaxcalan (Northern Mexican) and Spanish hybrid -- what came about when the old cotton weaving traditions of the Tlaxcalans crossed paths with the wool-making methods of Spanish colonists. Above is a personal favorite from the catalog with characteristic central diamond, nicely detailed patterned field, and rich, contrasting border.
Combing through the exhibition acknowledgments, I came across the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology and meandered off on my own. There's more to explore here as well as at the Smithsonian blog. You'll also find images of McCormick's installation here.