The Snite Museum of Art will exhibit Interrogating Native American Art: Past and Present from December 19, 2010, until February 13, 2011.
Acting as guest curators, university students enrolled in the Native North American Art History course, taught by Dr. Joanne Mack, curator of Native American Art and associate professor of anthropology, will choose pieces from the permanent collection to show the diversity of Native American art. Because an important issue in Native American art history is how accurately their art is exhibited, this show provides the opportunity to grapple with exhibiting the pieces appropriately.
Each individual or student pair focuses on themes including the effect that the commercial market might have on Native American art, the continuity of artists’ uses of certain techniques, materials, and designs, as well as the necessary caution in interpreting the meaning of particular motifs of other cultures and the diversity of contemporary Native American art.
Students will work with Snite Museum staff in designing and installing their exhibits; they will also write the labels and explanations for them. Both are important aspects of the show and the class, since the issue of how a museum presents the art of other cultures is of utmost concern to curators, anthropologists, artists, and organizations. This show provides the opportunity to view objects seldom displayed and to better understand issues within Native American art history.
This exhibit, located in the O’Shaughnessy Galleries, is free and open to the public.