News Archive

News Story


SXU Gallery features traditional Mexican shawls

"Recuerdos: Rebozos and Mexican Identity" opens Aug. 20

Chicago (July 30, 2007) – A collection of Mexican shawls will be on display in “Recuerdos: Rebozos and Mexican Identity,” an art exhibit that opens Monday, Aug. 20, in Saint Xavier University’s SXU Gallery, 3700 W. 103rd St., Chicago. The exhibit runs through Sept. 12.

The exhibit will feature a variety of traditional shawls, called rebozos, worn by Mexican women since the time of the Spanish Conquest. Rebozos are a uniquely Mexican art form combining indigenous pre-Columbian garments with the Spanish mantilla, brought to Mexico when the Spanish arrived.

Ranging widely in style, material and quality of workmanship from the exquisite to the everyday, rebozos have been used by Mexican women for centuries for everything from swaddling babies and carrying groceries to high fashion and death shrouds. Often handed down from mother to daughter, grandmother to granddaughter, they have traditionally formed part of a Mexican woman’s heritage and pride. Woven on simple looms, rebozos were made from cotton or wool in the pre-Columbian era. With the arrival of Europeans, silk and later rayon were introduced and incorporated into their design.

The exhibit will feature rebozos from the private collections of SXU students, staff and faculty and other Chicago Latinas. The rebozos will be accompanied by narratives of who owned them, when and where they came from and when they were worn.

“They represent a cross between a pre-Columbian indigenous shawl and a European one, weaving together the two dominant threads of Mexican identity. Stylistically, they vary widely in artistry, craftsmanship and design,” said Alison Fraunhar, Ph.D., assistant professor of art history at Saint Xavier University and co-curator of the exhibit.

An opening reception and lecture by Fraunhar will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Wed., Aug. 29. The exhibit is free and open to the public. The SXU Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, please contact the SXU Gallery at (773) 298-3081. The exhibit is funded in part by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council.


Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1846, Saint Xavier University was the first Mercy college in the United States and is Chicago’s oldest Catholic university. Serving approximately 5,700 students at its campuses in Chicago, Orland Park and its Loop location, the University offers 35 undergraduate majors; more than 40 graduate program options in arts and sciences, business, education and nursing; and a variety of program options in continuing and professional studies. Recognizing Saint Xavier’s excellence in education, U.S. News & World Report has ranked SXU consistently among the Best Colleges in the Midwest.

Saint Xavier University Media Relations: 773-298-3937
3700 West 103rd Street, Chicago Ill. 60655 * 18230 Orland Parkway, Orland Park, Ill. 60467
online faculty expert guide: www.sxu.edu/relations/faculty_experts.asp