Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Erika Loeffler

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Jack Smith

Third Advisor

Dr. Andrea Gerstle

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This study applies John L. Fischer's (1961) hypothesis that design elements reflect certain social variables to 50 Guatemalan textiles from the collection of the Field Museum of Chicago, to test its applicability. The results of the analysis were consistent with expectations, but some modifications to the original hypothesis are suggested to minimize ambiguities. The modified analysis can be applied in areas such as archaeology, art history and museum work to expand the interpretative potential of material objects, including works of art.