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Eiteljorg Insider | 5 Questions with Navajo Rug Auctioneer Sherri Burnham

by Jaq Nigg, Eiteljorg Festivals and Markets Manager | Oct 04, 2013

As the general manager of her family business, RB Burnham & Co Trading, Sherri manages the daily operations in the Sanders, AZ trading post as well as all of the 15-17 auctions they produce and conduct, including the Navajo Rug Auction at the Eiteljorg on Oct. 5. She is the fifth generation in her family to work in the business of trading among the Navajo people, and has been doing it for over 17 years. As a Navajo, it is important to Sherri to do what she can to help maintain and preserve cultural traditions.

If you could invite any artist to dinner, who would it be and why?

I would love to spend an evening with the late artist RC Gorman. Not only is his art iconic in the southwest, he was also quite a charismatic character. I've heard many stories about him and would loved to have shared a meal with him and his entourage just to learn more about what inspired him.

How do you spend most of your time?
While not at work or on the road chasing auctions, I spend most of my time gardening and in the kitchen.

What book are you reading right now?
I just finished The Painted Drum, by Louise Erdrich. I am currently trying to read all of her works and am about half way through the list.

If you had to evacuate your house immediately, what is the one thing you would grab?
I think I would take as many photo albums as I could, granted that my family was safely out as well. My family home burned down when I was a child and somehow my parents saved our family albums and that seemed most important then and now.

What sound do you love?
I love being in the forest listening to birds chirp and the wind rustle the tree branches.
 


NAVAJO RUG AUCTION THIS SATURDAY, OCT. 5.
Browse and bid on more than 200 vintage and contemporary weavings during this year’s auction, presented by R.B. Burnham & Co. Prices ranges from $100 to $10,000.

IF YOU GO:
Members only preview 
8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Opens to the public      
9:30 a.m. 
Auction begins                        
11:30 a.m.

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