Museum Resources | Center of Southwest Studies

Collections Highlights

A Germantown textile featuring four small birds and bold diamond and serrated patterns in red, green, blue, yellow, pink, and more.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, DinĂ© (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.

Two students and curator, Elizabeth Quinn MacMillan, look at framed artwork in collections storage.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.

Two students in the gallery viewing huipiles as part of the Hispanidad! exhibit.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.


Using Our Collections

Although the Center's museum collections are not yet available online, they are open to all Fort Lewis College students, faculty, staff, and the general public for research. While we work to give you direct access to our collections, you can view The Durango Collection and Southwest Textile Collection online and/or contact museum staff directly with any research inquiries.

Phone: 970-247-7359
Email: museum@fortlewis.edu

Access is limited by staffing restraints, please contact us with as much advanced notice as possible. See Using the Collections for more general information about accessing collections.


Delaney Library: Mon - Fri 10 am - 4 pm or by appointment
Exhibit Gallery: Mon - Fri 1 - 4 pm or by appointment

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Center of Southwest Studies
Fort Lewis College
1000 Rim Drive Durango, CO 81301

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Parking: During the Fall and Spring terms, you can purchase parking passes online. Parking is free after 3:30 p.m. and during the summer, May to August.


Phone Numbers

Main Office: 970-247-7456
Library Reference Desk: 970-382-6982
Archives: 970-247-7126
College Records: 970-382-6951
Museum: 970-247-7359

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