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New exhibition of Native American art now open at the Toledo Museum of Art

Expanding Views, Native American Art in Focus
Wendy Red Star (American, Apsáalooke [Crow] Nation, born 1981), Four Seasons Series (Spring). Four archival pigment prints 2006. Toledo Museum of Art, 2018. Gallery 29A

Expanded Views: Native American Art in Focus is now open at the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) in the recently renovated Gallery 29A, which is adjacent to the other galleries of American art.

While the collection of outstanding examples of American art was an important focus of the Toledo Museum of Art’s curatorial strategy since soon after its founding in 1901, in recent years TMA has increased its efforts to broaden the scope of its acquisitions of singular works of art from cultures that have traditionally been underrepresented in the classical art museum tradition.

“Over the past several years the Museum has been working to build up its collection of Native American works of art, both historical and contemporary,” said Dr. Halona Norton-Westbrook, director of curatorial affairs. “This exhibition will feature the new acquisitions in this area and present a large-scale work by the artist James Lavadour, on loan for this exhibition.”

Works as diverse as a traditional Acoma manta and Cherokee tipi cover will be shown together with contemporary works by Lavadour and artists Wendy Red Star and Marie Watt. In addition, the exhibition includes two significant Crow Ledger drawings, acquired through the generosity of the Joseph and Kathleen Magliochetti Fund, and three gifts from the Georgia Welles Apollo Society — a Cheyenne model tipi, an Acoma manta, and a Santo Domingo polychrome pottery jar. Additionally, a select number of paintings from the Museum’s established American paintings collection will be shown as part of the installation. 

The works of art by Native North American artists on display in this exhibition do not represent a singular culture, perspective, or moment in time. Rather, considered together, they offer a glimpse into the variety of traditions, practices, and voices that together inform Native American art, in both historical and contemporary forms.

“The majority of works in this gallery were created by Indigenous artists,” said Norton-Westbrook. “However, to highlight the historical reality that these artists have not always been the primary voices representing their own cultures, the installation is supplemented by works by non-Native artists that feature Native American themes from the Museum’s collection of 19th- and early 20th-century American painting and glass.”

Expanded Views: Native American Art in Focus is free to the public and will be on view through April 28, 2019.  The gallery renovation was made possible in part by the State of Ohio Cultural Facilities Grant Program. Programs and events affiliated with Expanding Views will take place during the run of the exhibition. Details will be made available at toledomuseum.org.