Exhibiting now through October 2019, the Art of Native America exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a fascinating look at 116 masterworks that represent the achievements of Native American artists from more than fifty cultures across North America. In this video from the museum, watch as Yale professor Ned Blackhawk talks about the importance of the Diker Collection.
The American Wing of The Met is an ideal space to exhibit this particular collection. The art of the indigenous peoples of North America have not historically been prioritized in these spaces. The longstanding curatorial practice of designating arts as "primitive," or as "ethnographic," or as "nonwestern" has limited our capacity to see a broader and more shared humanity, in my mind.
We often think of these objects as a kind of untainted window into the world of pre-modern life, but they are products of a colonial encounter. The smaller baskets from California, the potteries from the southwest, the textiles among the Navajo, many of them were made for the explicit purpose to trade.
Check out the exhibition page to learn more about the Diker Collection.
via The Met
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