Collecting Identity: Adventures of a Museum Anthropologist in Guatemala
Barbara A. and Edward G. Hail Lecture
April 4, 2012
Margot Blum Schevill, expert on Guatemalan and Andean textiles and Museum consultant, revisits the Haffenreffer Museum and shares the stories behind the textiles she collected throughout her professional experience. Ms. Schevill worked as a Museum anthropologist at the Haffenreffer and was a Brown graduate student in 1981 working with Jane Powell Dwyer. With the offer of a small grant from the Haffenreffer Museum to collect contemporary Maya textiles, Ms. Schevill began a 33-year relationship with a Maya family with whom she studied backstrap-weaving. A focus on designs, colors, techniques, materials, social conditions, and comments from the weavers formed a background for future research that continues to serve Schevill in her various assignments related to Maya textiles. Coming full circle, Ms. Schevill has recently donated an extensive part of her collection of textiles and stories to the Museum, and they are currently being studied by graduate students.
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