Conservation image

The Unbroken Thread, an exhibition organized by the GCI and featuring handwoven textiles from the Oaxaca region of Mexico, opened in the Van Nuys Gallery of the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles on October 25, 1997.

The exhibition—part of the GCI's outreach to the Los Angeles area that is its home—coincides with the public opening of the Getty Center as well as with the release of the GCI publication The Unbroken Thread: Conserving the Textile Traditions of Oaxaca. Curated by the editor of the book, Kathryn Klein, the exhibition displays textiles dating from the beginning of the 20th century to the present and includes many examples of the continuity of weaving techniques found within the communities and cultures of the Oaxaca region. The exhibition items were drawn from the collections of Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH) Regional Museum of Oaxaca, Oaxaca City; the Southwest Museum, Los Angeles; the Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe; private lenders; and the Associación Mexicana de Arte y Cultura Popular, a nonprofit marketing organization based in Mexico City that works directly with weavers.

This exhibition results from the Oaxaca textile conservation project conducted by the GCI in collaboration with the INAH Regional Museum of Oaxaca. The Oaxaca project demonstrated the importance of conserving ethnographic collections through practical application, scientific analyses, and anthropological fieldwork.

This approach to conservation enhances the understanding of the past while encouraging participation and collaboration in preserving cultural heritage.

The Unbroken Thread will be on view at the Southwest Museum until February 1, 1998.