Then the recession hit, and one auction only sold a couple of rugs, prompting the association to halt the annual event.
Today, the auction will be resurrected at 4 p.m. at the Farmington Civic Center, 200 W. Arrington St. Starting at noon, the rugs will be available for viewing.
Bart Wilsey, the museum's director, said there are about 150 rugs available ranging in size, type and style. Some of the rugs are even historic.
The museum collected the majority of rugs from area trading posts, but a few weavers and one local family also added their rugs to the sale.
A portion of proceeds from the auction benefit the museum, which plans to use the funds to bring exhibits to museum. Wilsey said the museum is planning to bring in traveling exhibits to fill a new wing that is going to be built onto the museum. Some of the exhibits the museum is considering include dinosaurs and Egyptians.
The rest of the money raised in the auction will go to the weavers and trading posts.
Wilsey said that one of this year's rugs is the best runner-style rug he has ever seen. A runner is traditionally long and narrow and is meant to go down a hallway. This rug is black, red and white, with three center medallions.
"Everything is squared and proportional," Wilsey said, describing the rug.
In addition to raising funds to help the museum, the rug auction is also a chance for weavers to promote their work.
"We like to do this because it gives another avenue for this type of art to be shown, collected and appreciated," Wilsey said.
Since he started working at the museum 15 years ago, Wilsey said he has seen a decrease in the number and size of Navajo rugs. He said the auction encourages weavers to continue weaving.
Wilsey said he enjoys the auction because he sees new weavers and art each time.
"It's kind of like Christmas," he said.
Hannah Grover can be reached at email@example.com; 505-564-4652. Follow her on Twitter @HMGrover