We consider Navajo weaving one of America’s most important and wonderful art forms, and one of our favorite weavers is Geanita John.
Geanita was originally from Lukachukai, Arizona, northeast of Canyon de Chelly, and one of the most beautiful parts of the Navajo Nation. She married Dennison John, the son of famed pictorial weaver Isabel John, and moved to their home in Many Farms.
Isabel took pictorial rugs to a new level, introducing depth and dimension to this particular style of weaving. Her pieces were unique as they always depicted Navajo life as it was in the old days. You never saw a modern home, a satellite dish, a pick-up truck, or any modern images in her work.
Geanita, whose mother had taught her to weave, quickly picked up on Isabel’s pictorial style, and the two began to create wonderful art pieces. Their work was purchased for many private and museum collections.
Geanita’s husband was killed in an automobile accident. She stepped out of the weaving world, moving back to Lukachukai, and began driving a van that transported hospital patients and people with illnesses to clinics.
In 2004, Isabel sold a beautiful weaving to us and drove to Farmington to buy a new truck. A few days later, she and her husband decided to take a drive and take care of the registration in person instead of mailing it in. On the way, a drunk driver hit and killed them.
It took awhile, but within a few years, Geanita began to work at the loom again, determined to carry on the tradition. Her work today is more creative than ever.
Jeannie Brako preparing a Geanita John Weaving for Display in New York
Dr. Hadley Jensen, the curator for the current show in New York, which features weavings from the American Museum of Natural History’s collection, was looking for a contemporary weaving to contrast with early pictorials. When she saw one of Geanita’s pieces, she knew she had found the right artist.
We have worked with Geanita for over 40 years. She is a good friend and an excellent weaver. We are proud to be able to share her work with you!