3 Blankets on a Shoulder Mount
- by Jamie Compton
- in A closer look... My Thoughts on Native Art
- posted November 8, 2022
Showing Blankets With A Shoulder Mount
I have three, rare blankets up on my wall at the gallery and all three are hanging off of a shoulder mount. I love the effect these mounts give to the blankets. Blankets are typically shown as 2-dimensional art and while this can be a very fulfilling way to see the blanket, one loses the blankety fell of the piece as a 3-dimensional object.
2-Dimensional or 3-dimensional Layout?
The design layout which may be easy to read on the wall as 2-dimensional art, becomes more layered as it takes form with a shoulder mount, folding inward then outward with an elegance as if it is being worn. The complexity to the eye makes the blanket all the more intriguing as the brain tries to figure out the pattern. In the end, the brain fatigues and settles on what’s shown, making the view all the richer for the unanswered resolution to its design.
Ways to Display a Blanket
The shoulder mount is also a smart way to reduce the size that the blanket takes up on the wall. A constraining factor to clients purchasing a full sized serape is how to display it. While a 2-dimensional wall mount shows the blanket in all its glory, there are other options for display. A common way is to lay the blanket over a chair, sofa or a lounge chair. Here the blanket is typically folded and is partially visible. The potential to open the blanket up and hold it in one’s hands allows for a more intimate experience that a wall hanging lacks. The third option, as explored here, is to shoulder mount it.
The Shoulder Mount Emphasizes The Blanket Center
A common quality on all three of these blankets is a center of the blanket that runs vertically down the back. This center element is woven in the horizontal, but worn on the vertical.
An Earlier Rio Grande Blanket Likely Woven By A Navajo
Going from left to right in the main photo, the first blanket is a Rio Grande blanket with a center made of lighter indigo blue bands (compared to the rest or the indigo bands). Measuring 82″ x 55″, it is comprised of banding zones of indigo blue and natural brown. It is one of the finest Rio Grande blankets I have ever seen and the mounting allows for un up-close study of this fineness.
A Navajo Serape Circa 1875
The second is a Navajo blanket with an expanded center zone of linked rectangles like a checker board. This blanket, measuring 84″ x 50″, is complex with its banding systems. The bands include indigo blue, natural brown, indigo green and a green that tends more towards blue as well as yellow. The mount allows for an up close exploration of these qualities.
An Early Rio Grande Blanket
The last piece is a Rio Grande blanket with three sets of fine indigo bands with each set made up of three lines. This is a smaller blanket, measuring 78″ x 38.5″. The mounting shows off the discrete, fine lines of indigo blue and their movement along with the folding patterns. There is a softness shown here that is not available when showing the blanket all laid out on a wall.
Kent Williamson, Creator of The Shoulder Mounts
Kent Williamson, a local Santa Fe collector and dealer of fine historic Native American art, is the creator of these shoulder mounts.
He has taken an existing mannequin bust and trimmed it down to its essential parts. The mount is hollow so it’s light weight, which was a critical factor since the blanket on top may be heavy. He has added velcro to the top to help secure the blanket and as well hardware to attach it to the wall. Kent can be reached via his website should you be interested in purchasing one or several: Kentantiquesgallery.com