Indigenous Motivations: Recent Acquisitions from the National Museum of the American Indian

July 22, 2006–June 10, 2007
New York, NY

Indigenous Motivations focuses on works the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) has acquired since 1990. That year, the Heye Foundation's Museum of the American Indian—including George Gustav Heye's historic collection—became the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian. As a living museum, the NMAI continues to build its collection through purchases and donations. Since 1990, the museum has acquired some 15,000 objects, including more than 6,200 pieces that were transferred to the NMAI from the federal Indian Arts and Crafts Board Headquarters Collection.

Presenting pieces made after 1950, Indigenous Motivations reveals how Native artists continue to be influenced by tradition, innovation, and art—combining these elements in their work according to their personal vision and aesthetics.

Tlingit, Kwakwaka’wakw, Nuu-chah-nulth, Seminole, Mi’kmaq/Maliseet, Cheyenne, and non-Native-made totem pole models, 1950–1985. Photo by Walter Larrimore, NMAI.
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