Rachel Brown was born in Buffalo in 1926. Her education includes a BFA from Radcliffe College, where she also attended the Harvard Graduate School of Design studying architecture. Further studies at the Art Students League and Cooper Union in New York were concentrated on painting, drawing and design. It wasn't until 1956 when she moved to Taos that the discipline of weaving became her main focus. Old Hispanic and Classic Navajo weavings inspired her.
"Immediately I became obsessed with the medium. The magical twisting of glossy fibers, dyeing them, and then intertwining them with the warp definitely became a satisfying art form for me. Luckily I was impoverished at the time and so spinning and dyeing my yarns was also a necessity. Since then, I have become spoiled and cannot weave unless I have an extensive palette of hand-dyed colors with which to work.
"I have always approached the weaving as I would a painting and proceed spontaneously letting the restrictions and laws of the medium effect the design. In this way, I am constantly challenged as I weave. I like to think that the process of creating a tapestry is similar to the life process. You can have a plan, but always be open to making changes; and, of course, you can never go back. My tapestries are rarely what I first intended them to be. And usually I am happily surprised."
Rachel's first public exhibition was in 1964 at the Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe. Since then she has exhibited her tapestries in invitational shows in the Southwest, Ohio, Alaska, New York City and Washington, D.C., and has been a juror and curator of many exhibitions. Her works are in public and private collections in the USA, Canada, and Europe.
Weaving Southwest gallery is the result of Rachel's desire to see her own weavings displayed properly in a gallery setting.
In October, 1993, Rachel received a Life Time Achievement Award at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D. C. Awards were given to 37 women in the Craft Arts for "making a difference" in their fields.
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