FARMINGTON — Navajo rug enthusiasts can bid on rugs at this year's Navajo Rug Auction at Farmington Museum.

The auction starts at 4 p.m. Saturday. Rugs can be previewed from noon to 5 p.m. Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Bart Wilsey, the museum director, said rugs at the auction generally sell for between $75 to $4,000.

Last year, the auction took place at the Farmington Civic Center to coincide with the Art Walk, which is on Friday. However, this year, the auction will return to the Farmington Museum and take place in the new wing.

Wilsey said the auction started in 2000 and has taken place almost every year since then.

"I remember the first year we made $14,000 off of it," Wilsey said.

Farmington Museum Director Bart Wilsey inspects a rug made by Sadie John on Wednesday at the Farmington Museum at Gateway Park.
Farmington Museum Director Bart Wilsey inspects a rug made by Sadie John on Wednesday at the Farmington Museum at Gateway Park. (Jon Austria/ The Daily Times)

Proceeds from the auction go to the museum foundation to pay for certain exhibits. A portion of the money also goes to the weaver or the trading post that supplied the rugs.

The auction will also feature a raffle with a rug made by Two Grey Hills weaver Ester Etcitty. Along with the rug, the winner of the raffle will receive an autographed copy of Mark Winter's book, "The Master Weaver." The book is valued at $125. Raffle tickets are $10 for one ticket or $25 for three tickets.

"The pages are so elegant and just loaded with pictures," said Vickie Gurry, the auction chairwoman, of the book.

Gurry, who is a Navajo rug enthusiast and collector, said the book is among the best on Navajo rugs that she's read.

Wilsey said there are regional differences in the rugs. For instance, Teec Nos Pos, Ariz., rugs tend to be more elaborate and colorful because missionaries in the 1900s introduced oriental patterns to the Navajo in the area. In contrast, Two Grey Hills rugs tend to be woven with natural wools, and many don't use any dyes.

Gurry said some people insist on buying rugs with natural wools while others prefer the brighter colors of commercial yarns.

"People's taste and what they want can really vary," Gurry said.

More info: Call 506-599-1173

Hannah Grover covers news, arts and religion for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and hgrover@daily-times.com. Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.