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American Indian Art from the Fenimore Art Museum: The Thaw Collection
March 6–April 26, 2020
The aesthetic traditions of North America’s native peoples are represented through sculptures, paintings, drawings, basketry, textiles, ceramics, and other media. The 40 works on view provide insight into the artistry of these spiritual and utilitarian objects.
Featured in this exhibition is a mid-13th century Busycon conch shell gorget elegantly carved by a Caddoan sculptor. Also on view, is a late-19th century war record painted on animal hide by two Lakota artists, and a split buffalo horn Blackfeet headdress embellished with ermine fur, porcupine quills, glass beads, silk ribbon, cotton binding, and other fibers.
“American Indian Art from the Fenimore Art Museum: The Thaw Collection” is made possible through the generosity of the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust. Organized by the Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York, in collaboration with the Mitchell Gallery.
Annapolis Subaru and Keith and Katherine Dunleavy are proud sponsors of this exhibition.
Additional support is provided by Melvin and Judy Bender, Joy Chambers and Peter Bungay, Deborah Bowerman Coons and Jana Bowerman Sample, and Anna E. Greenberg.
Also Featured in the American Indian Art Exhibition
Programs and Events
Eva Fognell, curator of the Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, NY, will lecture on From Old Masters to Native American Masters: The Thaw Collection of American Indian Art.
The Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art, consists of more than 875 objects spanning 20 centuries from throughout North America, is the most significant American Indian Art collection donated to the American public since the depression era, and was stunningly and quickly formed by Eugene and Clare Thaw over the course of a few short years.
At the collection’s core is an unwavering philosophy; that in any culture a small percentage of things stand out as masterpieces by virtue of their superb craftsmanship, visual power, historical associations, and cultural meanings. Gene Thaw put it this way: “I want to stress that I look at Indian material culture as art,” he states. “To me, it is co-equal to any of my own highest experiences in pursuing the arts of many nations both as dealer and collector. It stands rightfully with ancient art, with masterpieces of Asia and Europe, as their equivalent, and I wish it would be looked at this way.”
Lunchtime Tour with Art Educator Lucinda Edinberg.
Basket making led by Kathi Beauchesne, president of the Center for Research in Basketry, will lead a workshop to create a simple basket. For adults 16 years and up. $15 for members, $25 for non-members. Registration required.
Author Lucia St. Clair Robson will lead a discussion on her book, Ride the Wind. Free. Registration required.
Art Educator Lucinda Edinberg will lead a tour of the exhibition.