Magazine article USA TODAY

Across the Centuries with the "Art of Native America"

Magazine article USA TODAY

Across the Centuries with the "Art of Native America"

Article excerpt

"Art of Native America: The Charles and Valerie Diker Collection" will feature 116 masterworks representing the achievements of artists from more than 50 distinct indigenous traditions across North America, ranging in date from the second to the early 20th century

The collection has particular strengths in sculpture from British Columbia and Alaska; California baskets; pottery from Southwestern pueblos; Plains drawings and regalia; and rare accessories from the Eastern Woodlands.

A ceremonial opening of the exhibition involving contemporary Native-American artists, performers, and community leaders will be accompanied by a series of public programs.

This will be the first exhibition of Native-American art to be presented in the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art since it was established in 1924. Originally focused on American Colonial and early Federal decorative arts and architecture, the wing's collecting areas and focus have continued to evolve.

"The presentation of the Diker Collection represents a transformative moment for The Met, enabling us to expand and enrich the stories we tell about American art and culture," says Daniel H. Weiss, president and CEO.

Adds Sylvia Yount, curator of the American Wing: "We are committed to exploring thoughtfully and sensitively the entangled histories of contact and colonization from both Native- and Euro-American perspectives. The Met takes seriously its curatorial responsibility to share with our broad audiences--in a variety of displays and contexts--the cultural endurance and creative continuity of indigenous American artists. …

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