Rio Grande Textiles Exhibit: Object Labels

Object Label

Object labels are generally mounted adjacent to the objects in an exhibit and identify the object for the viewer. They usually include information such as: Artist or Maker and Year(s) of birth and death, the Title of the object and Date created, the Medium (material) from which the object was made, the Donor of the object (or the person from whom the object was purchased), and the Accession Number that identifies the object.
It is quite common to have no information on the weaver for Rio Grande textiles, so only two of the five object labels include the name of the artisan weaver, and we decided to eliminate “Unknown Artist” from the other object labels. We titled the objects “Rio Grande Blanket” because this provided more information about the objects than merely calling them textiles. We included the weaving technique with the title since the original concept for the exhibit was to showcase the two main weaving techniques of the blankets: double width and two widths seamed. And because it is most often impossible to know with certainty whether a dye is natural or synthetic, we simply used the word “dyes” as part of the medium description.

Object label

To get all of these details correct for each blanket, I combed through the donor and object files, as well as my notes from Mark Winter’s consultant visit. The labels went through several rounds of editing as Tawney and I reviewed and made the above-mentioned decisions on presentation. When the final label text was printed, I affixed the object labels adjacent to the blankets.