Jerry Freund in Navajo Blanket

Jerry Freund, Associate,

Medicine Man Gallery

Thursday, February 20, 2020,

2:30 – 3:30 p.m.,

The Arizona Senior Academy Building

Jerry Freund, an associate at Medicine Man Gallery on Tanque Verde at East Sunrise Drive, is an expert on Navajo weavings. The Navajo blanket he is wearing in the accompanying picture was woven circa 1875.

Freund will share his knowledge of Navajo weaving—and show us examples of weavings that come forward in time from the 19th through the 20th centuries.  According to Navajo lore, knowledge of weaving came from the Gods: it is the “Gift of the Holy Ones.” In addition to the traditional abstract, symbolic designs, the Navajo also make delightful weavings depicting plants, animals, people, and villages. 

Navajo Pictorial Blanket

In this presentation, Jerry Freund will concentrate on pictorial weaving. By the end of the presentation, you will be able to identify fakes and copies of Navajo weaving from the real ones.

Jerry Freund grew up in Dodge City, KS, and spent his childhood absorbing tales of the American West from his grandfather. He rode the Santa Fe Trail and began collecting Native American beads at the age of 14. He later spent time in Oklahoma, participating in Indian powwows.  Freund’s fascination with American Indian history and art continued during his 30 years as an administrator in Tucson Medical Center responsible for education. While there, he met a medical student, Dr. Mark Sublette, whose interests in American Indian art matched his own. Sublette moved on to establish art galleries in Tucson and Santa Fe that focus on the American West. After his retirement, Freund joined Sublette at the Tucson Medicine Man Gallery, where he is able to pursue his life-long interest in American Indian art.

Written by Virginia Richardson, Academy Village Volunteer


Feb. 20: “Gift of the Holy Ones: Early Navajo Blankets and Pictorial Weaving”