Small Spirits: Dolls from the National Museum of the American Indian
March 05, 2011–July 19, 2012
New York, NY
Over 90 dolls from throughout the Western Hemisphere, most from the 19th century through the present day, reflect different communities and traditions of Native peoples. Included are dolls dressed in everyday Cherokee clothing of the 1930s, made by Berdina and Richard G. Crowe (Eastern Band of Cherokee); a ceramic storyteller doll by Helen Cordero (Cochiti Pueblo), a form invented by the artist that is widely continued today; and a wooden doll by noted carver Frank Allabush (Makah). Also included are the traditional "no-face" cornhusk doll of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) cultures, Seminole dolls in brightly colored patchwork clothing, and elaborate Plains dolls in traditional regalia.
Time Exposures: Picturing a History of Isleta Pueblo in the 19th Century
September 17, 2011–June 10, 2012
New York, NY
This exhibition, organized by the Pueblo of Isleta, tells the story of life on the Isleta Indian Reservation in the 19th century and its lasting effects on life today. Among the 80 photographs in the exhibition are the works of many prominent western photographers and artists including Edward Curtis, A.C. Vroman, A.Z. Shindler, Karl Moon, John Hillers, Charles Lummis, Carlos Vierra, Summer Matteson, Albert Sweeney, Josef Imhof, and Ben Wittick.
Carl Beam—Organized by the National Gallery of Canada
October 29, 2011–April 15, 2012
New York, NY
A retrospective of Carl Beam (Ojibwe, 1943–2005) featuring 41 works, including paintings, ceramics, constructions, and video, Carl Beam examines the artist's investigations into the metaphysical aspects of both Western and Native cultures. A vital force in contemporary Canadian art, Beam worked with expressive layering akin to that of Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008) rather than the traditional forms of Anishinabek "Woodland School" painters like Norval Morrisseau (Anishinaabe, 1931–2007). Beam confounded expectations with a masterful combination of diverse iconography commenting on contemporary culture and the effects of colonialism.
Organized by the National Gallery of Canada and curated by Greg A. Hill (Mohawk), the NGC's Audain Curator of Indigenous Art, the exhibition opens with the artist's early works and includes his masterpiece The North American Iceberg, the first work by a Native artist to be purchased by the National Gallery of Canada to begin a collection of contemporary Native art. Other pieces presented are organized into themes such as The Columbus Project, an immense body of work that re-examines European contact; Plant Communication, Margins: Food/Shelter, and The Whale of Our Being, which touch on Beam's study of people's relationships with the environment; and Crossroads, a meditation on fame and celebrity. Also included are a selection of Beam's ceramics that demonstrate the artist's study of ancient Anasazi and Mimbres pottery from the U.S. Southwest to his later works that incorporate Japanese firing and glazing techniques.
A Song for the Horse Nation
October 29, 2011–January 07, 2013
Through an array of 122 historic objects, artwork, photographs, songs, and personal accounts, A Song for the Horse Nation presents the epic story of the horse's influence on American Indian tribes, beginning with the return of horses to the Western Hemisphere by Christopher Columbus to the present day. The exhibition traces how horses changed the lives of Native people: from the way they traveled, hunted, and waged war to how they celebrated generosity, exhibited bravery and conducted ceremonies. It shows how horse trading among tribes was the conduit for the extensive spread of mustangs in the Plains and Plateau regions of the United States, as well as how horses became the inspiration for new artistic expressions and rich traditions that continue to this day.
This critically acclaimed exhibition first opened at the museum's George Gustav Heye Center in New York on November 14, 2009, and was on display until July 10, 2011. The Washington version doubles its exhibition space to 9,500 square feet and features 15 new objects, including a hand-painted, 19th-century Sioux tipi depicting battle and horse raiding scenes. Other highlights include a life-size horse-mannequin in spectacular, fully beaded regalia and Geronimo’s and Chief Joseph’s rifles.
This exhibition was also on view at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York, N.Y., November 14, 2009–July 10, 2011.
Behind the Scenes: The Real Story of Quileute Wolves
January 13, 2012–May 09, 2012
This exhibition brings together rare works of art as a counterpoint to the supernatural storyline of the popular Twilight films. Interpreted by the Quileute people of coastal Washington, Behind the Scenes: The Real Story of the Quileute Wolves offers an intimate look into the tribe's artwork and wolf creation stories, which are central to the Quileute world view. The exhibition includes two wolf headdresses from different regions, as well as replicas of items used on the Twilight set; a paddle necklace symbolizing the "canoe culture," and a necklace made from Olivella shells. A 12-minute video illuminates the history and oral and cultural traditions through interviews with tribal members and teens as they describe the phenomenon and effect of the Twilight films in their own words.
IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas
February 09, 2012–October 01, 2012
New York, NY
This 20-panel banner exhibition focuses on the interactions between African American and Native American people, especially those of blended heritage. It also sheds light on the dynamics of race, community, culture, and creativity, and addresses the human desires of being and belonging. With compelling text and powerful graphics, IndiVisible includes accounts of cultural integration and diffusion as well as the struggle to define and preserve identity. Stories are set within the context of a larger society that, for centuries, has viewed people through the prism of race brought to the Western Hemisphere by European settlers.
By combining the voices of the living with those of their ancestors, IndiVisible provides an extraordinary opportunity to understand the history and contemporary perspectives of people of African and Native American descent. The exhibition is accompanied by a 160-page publication and 10-minute media piece.
Developed by the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian with the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture. Organized for travel by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.
Vochol: Huichol Art on Wheels
March 20, 2012–May 06, 2012
The museum welcomes the 1990s Volkswagen Beetle named "Vochol®," decorated by indigenous craftsmen from the Huichol (Wixaritari) communities of Nayarit and Jalisco, Mexico, using more than 2 million glass beads and fabric. This one-of-a-kind vehicle is presented in collaboration with the Association of Friends of the Museo de Arte Popular and the Museo de Arte Popular in Mexico City, the Embassy of Mexico and the Mexican Cultural Institute.
Best in the World: Native Athletes in the Olympics
May 25, 2012–September 03, 2012
This exhibition features Native athletes who have provided some of the most dramatic moments in Olympic history. Special attention is given to the 1912 Games in Stockholm, whose centenary we celebrate in 2012, and in which Jim Thorpe (Sac and Fox ) won both the Pentathlon and the Decathlon (a feat not since accomplished); Duke Kahanamoku (Native Hawaiian) won the 100 Meter Freestyle; Andrew Sockalexis (Penobscot) placed fourth in the Marathon; and Lewis Tewanima (Hopi) won the Silver medal and set an American record for the 10,000 Meters, which stood for more than 50 years until another American Indian, Billy Mills (Oglala Lakota), won Gold in Tokyo in 1964.
We Are Here! Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship
June 02, 2012–September 23, 2012
New York, NY
Organized by the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art of Indianapolis, Indiana, the exhibition includes work by Fellowship recipients Bonnie Devine (Ojibwa), Skawennati (Mohawk), Duane Slick (Meskwaki/Ho-Chunk), Anna Tsouhlarakis (Navajo/Creek/Greek), and invited artist Alan Michelson (Mohawk). With painting, photography, installation art, video and sculpture, the exhibition provides insight to the issues, concerns and methods of leading Native artists working today.
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.
Arctic Journeys/Ancient Memories: The Sculpture of Abraham Anghik Ruben
October 05, 2012–January 01, 2013
The art of Inuvialuit artist Abraham Anghik Ruben (b. 1951) portrays journeys of exploration, migration, and displacement through voyages across time and place, and into the spiritual realm. In these recent sculptures, Ruben contrasts the ancient lives of two northern peoples—Norse adventurers and Inuit (Inuvialuit) whale hunters—guiding us to a new perspective on the complex history of the North American Arctic, a history shaped by movement, contact, and change.
This exhibition is presented in conjunction with the 18th Inuit Studies Conference Oct. 24–28, 2012 in Washington, D.C.
Julie Buffalohead: Let the Show Begin
October 20, 2012–April 28, 2013
New York, NY
Julie Buffalohead (Ponca) uses the iconography of childhood to explore deeper themes of storytelling, motherhood, and identity in this exhibition of her recent paintings. Soft and cuddly toy animals come to life in her work, but this sweet surface disguises the less pretty realities of parenting such as pain and worry. Buffalohead also uses these characters to attack stereotypes about Native people, exposing their artificiality by staging them as a child’s game.
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.