Objects of Exchange: Social and Material Transformation on the Late Nineteenth-Century Northwest Coast
January 26, 2011– April 17, 2011
Selections from the American Museum of Natural History
Curated by Professor Aaron Glass and graduate students at the BGC
The late nineteenth century was a period of rapid colonization and dramatic change for the Indigenous peoples of North America’s Northwest Coast. Objects of Exchange approaches the material culture of the period as visual evidence of shifting intercultural relations. Drawing on the remarkable collection of the American Museum of Natural History—from decorated clothing to containers, ceremonial regalia to trade goods—this exhibit reveals the artistic traces of dynamic Indigenous activity whereby objects were altered, repurposed, and adapted to meet the challenges of the time. Rather than treating the period as a climax of “traditional” art and culture, the exhibit suggests we view its objects as witnesses to the dawn of an Indigenous modernity.
The following sections of this website present an archive of the exhibition as it was installed. The links below feature all of the exhibition’s introductory texts and graphics, the complete set of loan items with their short interpretive labels, a selection of installation views, and a list of accompanying public programs. Longer and more detailed interpretive texts on each object are available in the exhibition catalogue.
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