C.Maxx Stevens: House of Memory
December 01, 2012–June 16, 2013
New York, NY
C.Maxx Stevens (Seminole/Muscogee) is a visual storyteller whose deeply personal, eclectic constructions tell stories about places and people from her past. Working with “found objects” and ephemeral materials such as paper, wood and hair, her art has a dark, gritty quality that is both haunting and familiar. The selected sculpture, installation and prints in this solo exhibition address memory through cultural and personal symbols, and illustrate the complexities of the contemporary Native experience.
Circle of Dance
October 06, 2012–October 08, 2017
New York, NY
Circle of Dance is a five-year exhibition that presents Native dance as a vibrant, meaningful, and diverse form of cultural expression. Featuring ten social and ceremonial dances from throughout the Americas, the exhibition illuminates the significance of each dance and highlights the unique characteristics of its movements and music.
Music and dance have always been essential to the spiritual, cultural, and social lives of Native peoples. Unique forms of ritual, ceremonial, and social dancing remain a vital part of contemporary community life. Everywhere dance is found, it is accompanied by distinctive Native musical styles. Rich music and dance traditions create strong ties that bind American Indian communities to all living things, to the earth, spirit world, and—when people have deep ancestral claims to their dances—to the past.
Presenting a wide range of movement styles, Circle of Dance illustrates the dynamic dances through which Native peoples maintain old ways and introduce new ones, while expressing and celebrating their strongly felt tribal, village, clan, social, and individual identities.
Up Where We Belong: Native Musicians in Popular Culture
August 04, 2012–August 11, 2013
New York, NY
This panel and object exhibition highlights Native people who have been active participants in contemporary music for nearly a century. Musicians like Russell "Big Chief" Moore (Gila River Indian Community), Rita Coolidge (Cherokee), Buffy Sainte-Marie (Cree), and the group Redbone are a few of the Native performing artists who have had successful careers in popular music. Many have been involved in various forms of popular music—from jazz and blues to folk, country, and rock. Up Where We Belong: Native Musicians in Popular Culture tells their stories and histories, and provides visitors the opportunity to hear samples by music greats and discover musicians with whom those exceptional musicians collaborated. Visitors will also learn about artists who inspired the musical greats as well as the contemporary artists they themselves influenced.
This exhibition was also on view at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., July 1, 2010–January 2, 2011.
Infinity of Nations: Art and History in the Collections of the National Museum of the American Indian
New York, NY
This spectacular, permanent exhibition of some 700 works of Native art from throughout North, Central, and South America demonstrates the breadth of the museum's renowned collection and highlights the historic importance of many of these iconic objects.
Chosen to illustrate the geographic and chronological scope of the museum's collection, Infinity of Nations opens with a display of headdresses. Signifying the sovereignty of Native nations, these works include a magnificent Kayapó krok-krok-ti, a macaw-and-heron-feather ceremonial headdress.
Focal-point objects, representing each region, include an Apsáalooke (Crow) robe illustrated with warriors' exploits; a detailed Mayan limestone bas relief depicting a ball player; an elaborately beaded Inuit tuilli, or woman's inner parka, made for the mother of a newborn baby; a Mapuche kultrung, or hand drum, depicting the cosmos; a carved and painted chief's headdress, depicting a killer whale with a raven emerging from its back, created and worn by Willie Seaweed (Kwakwaka'wakw); an anthropomorphic Shipibo joni chomo, or water vessel from Peru; a Chumash basket decorated with a Spanish-coin motif; an ancient mortar from Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon, N.M.; a gourd carved with a detailed picture of the Battle of Arica by Mariano Flores Kananga (Quechua); and an early Anishinaabe man's outfit complete with headdress, leggings, shirt, sash, and jewelry. The exhibition concludes with works by Native artists including Allan Houser (Warm Springs Chiricahua Apache) and Rick Bartow (Mad River Wiyot).