The Durango Collection® & Southwest Textile Collection
The Durango Collection® represents 1,200 years of weaving in the Southwest. This world-class collection contains one-of-a-kind textiles from the Pueblo, Diné (Navajo), and Hispanic traditions. Southwest textiles are a true American art form in which diverse traditions and cultures have blended to produce new, unique expressions of beauty. Southwest weaving today blends traditional techniques with indigenous cotton, wool introduced by the Spanish, contemporary materials, and shared designs. People’s ability to adapt assures that the Southwest textile tradition remains an active and vital art form. The beauty, creativity, and skill shown by the textiles in the Durango Collection® chronicle this remarkable achievement.
The Bill & Sue Hensler Contemporary Native Art Collection
Bill and Sue Hensler began collecting contemporary Indigenous art in the early 1950s, with major purchases of original art and prints in the 1970s and 1980s. They continue to collect today and have donated over 1,500 pieces to the Center of Southwest Studies. They have focused on collecting works by emerging artists, pieces made by close personal friends, and works that they like, rather than what is hot on the art market. This has resulted in a unique and very personal collection of works.
The Henslers have collected information about artists represented in their art collection, a breadth of Native American artists, and cultural institutions. The Artists of the Southwest archival collections held in Delaney Library contain information on over 900 artists and institutions, with new artists and institutions added frequently.
Hispanic Art & Textile Collections
The Center’s Hispanic collections are diverse, ranging from Spanish-influenced textiles to Mexican folk art. These collections include historic Southwest textiles, contemporary Mexican textiles, folk art, fine art, and clothing.
Southwest Archaeology Collections
The Center of Southwest Studies is a state-approved repository for the State of Colorado and houses various archaeological collections ranging from early avocational collections from Durango figures like Homer Root and Helen Sloane Daniels to Fort Lewis College field school materials.