Expanded Views: Native American Art in Focus, Part II
In recent years, the Toledo Museum of Art has sought to actively broaden its collecting efforts and exhibition programs to more inclusively and holistically represent a variety of cultural perspectives and traditions not included in the established art historical canon. At the forefront of this effort is an emphasis placed on expanding the Museum's collection of art made by indigenous peoples throughout the world, with a particular focus on Native American art. The Museum’s collection of Native American art—both historical and contemporary—has grown in number and quality in the past five years. Continued expansion of this area of the collection is anticipated in the years to come.
To acknowledge this growing area of the collection, the Museum has recently installed a gallery dedicated to Native American art, which opened in Fall of 2018 with the first iteration of the exhibition Expanded Views: Native American Art in Focus. The next installation in this gallery builds upon the precedent established in the inaugural display and continues its intention of positioning Native American art as a fundamental area of a reimagined American art history.
Highlights of this new installation include a rotating selection of Navajo textile masterworks, on special loan from the Crane Collection at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. These works have been selected for their incredible beauty, exquisite craftsmanship, and ability to powerfully demonstrate the importance of Navajo textiles as a significant art tradition that warrants inclusion in a broadened understanding of what constitutes American art. Other highlights include a woven basket, a beaded bag, and pottery as well of several works of art from the previous installation, including a large-scale work by artist James Lavadour.