Our Latest Acquisition is More Than Just an Object….

 

Museums exist not only to house objects for protection into the future, but also to tell the story of the object. Very often, objects can tell us of a general time period, or a cultural aspect. But,¬†on rare occasions, an object comes along that not only tells a cultural story, but also the story of a place and of individuals. The Luther Bean Museum’s latest acquisition is just that special object. The Lopez weavings were donated by descendants of the weaver this spring. The two beautiful blankets were woven by the donor’s Great, Great Grandfather, Juan Jose Lopez sometime between 1880 and 1900. Juan Jose came to the San Luis Valley in 1857 and raised cattle and sheep near Los Pinos Colorado. According to family history, Juan Jose dyed wool from his own sheep and used it in his weavings. He is listed among those “Hispano Weavers in the San Luis Valley” in Marianne Stoller’s article “Spanish-Americans, Their Servants and Sheep: A Culture History of Weaving in Southern Colorado.” These particular blankets were given as a wedding gift in 1920 to the donor’s Grandparents, Alfonzo and Paublita Lopez. The weavings have remained in the Lopez family, who still dwell in the SLV. These beautiful blankets are not only tell of one families connection to the San Luis Valley, they also are representative of an important art in the Hispanic culture and history of the area.