FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 11, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 11, 2018 (Santa Fe, NM)— Santa Fe’s Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, a premier repository of Native art and material culture, will have a large role in an exhibition opening in midsummer 2018 at Disney Epcot’s American Heritage Gallery at the American Adventure Pavilion. The exhibition, Creating Tradition: Innovation and Change in American Indian Art, is made possible through collaboration among Epcot, MIAC, and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in Washington, D.C.
The Epcot exhibition is the serendipitous result of MIAC Director Della Warrior inviting members of the Disney Imagineering Team to partner with the museum on the re-development of its permanent exhibition, “Here, Now and Always,” which tells the important story of the Southwest’s oldest communities. The groups’ collaborative meetings about the permanent exhibition resulted in the idea to include many remarkable objects of art and artifacts from MIAC, (created in a vast range of time periods) which will showcase numerous Native American cultures from various locations around the United States, meeting Epcot’s goal of giving guests glimpses of people, culture, and history from different countries.
“This is a great opportunity to impact the experiences of the 14 million people who visit Epcot Center each year,” said Della Warrior. “We are thrilled to be able to contribute to the appreciation of cultural diversity, and for others to experience the beauty, talent and creativity of Native people from across the Nation,” she said.
Warrior added that she believes Native American history has never really been told well, that many people have misinterpretations of the 376 federally recognized tribes in the U.S., and that this is an important way for Native Americans to tell their stories.
The exhibition, which will be up for three to five years, includes 34 items from the MIAC Collection. The pieces range from a contemporary beaded bracelet depicting a portrait of Naiche (c. 1857 – 1919), the last hereditary chief of the Chiricahua Apache, youngest son of Cochise (a noted Chiricahua leader), to two very early examples of Hawaiian Jewelry (late 1800s), a Sioux or Cheyenne cradleboard ca. 1880, a Navajo basket from the 1920s, and an Aleut doll from the early 1900s, to mention a few.
The artifacts represent tribes from across our nation including the Southern Plains, the Great Plains, the Pomo and the Klikitat from California, the Navajo, the Jicarilla Apache, the Zuni, the Paiute, Acoma and Laguna Pueblos—each culture its own, with unique creation stories and languages, and much more. These artifacts are representative of unique liveways, and have been painstakingly and respectfully collected over the course of MIAC’s forty-year history.
In the spring 2019, the MIAC will begin the revitalization of its popular core permanent exhibition Here, Now, and Always, a major exhibition based on eight years of collaboration among Native American elders, artists, scholars, teachers, writers and museum professionals. Voices of fifty Native Americans guide visitors through the Southwest’s indigenous communities and their challenging landscapes. More than 1,300 artifacts from the Museum’s collections are displayed accompanied by poetry, story, song and scholarly discussion.
Top Image, clockwise from top right:
Sioux or Cheyenne cradleboard, ca. 1880, Great Plains, wood, glass beads, brass nails, sinew, parfleche, umbilical cord, cloth, cedar wood, paint, rawhide, leather; Aleut doll, early 1900s, Nome, Alaska, Wood, seal gut parka, paint and hide; Paiute Northern bowl, 1930-1940, Nevada, Willow, glass seed beads, thread; Acoma or Laguna Pueblo pot, 1900s, New Mexico, Clay and mineral paint; Navajo basket, ca. 1920, Southwest US, Sumac, yucca and vegetal dye.
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About the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture
As the 19th century closed, one of the Southwest’s major "attractions" was its vibrant Native American culture. In response to unsystematic collecting by Eastern museums, anthropologist Edgar Lee Hewett founded the Museum of New Mexico in 1909 with a mission to collect and preserve Southwest Native American material culture. Several years later, in 1927, John D. Rockefeller founded the renowned Laboratory of Anthropology with a mission to study the Southwest’s indigenous cultures. In 1947 the two institutions merged, bringing together the most inclusive and systematically acquired collection of New Mexican and Southwestern anthropological artifacts in the country