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901 - The New Native American Art History

cancelled

Convener 1: Anthes, Bill (Pitzer College, The Claremont Colleges , Claremont, Ud States of Am / USA)
Convener 2: Morris, Kate (Santa Clara, University, Santa Clara, Ud States of Am / USA)

This session explores the ways in which the field of Native American art history has been transformed since 1992, a watershed year. In this “Year of Indigenous Peoples,” a number of “Columbian Quincentennial Response Shows,” were mounted, bringing Native American art and culture to a new degree of public attention, and placing it in the context of a worldwide discourse on the legacies of European colonialism. Additionally, 1992 saw the publication of Janet Catherine Berlo’s, The Early Years of Native American Art History. Berlo’s edited volume reflected on the contributions of a generation of anthropologists, museum curators, dealers and collectors, whose output at the turn of the last century laid the foundations for the field of Native American Art studies. Compiled and published during a time of rapid change in the larger field of cultural studies, Berlo’s volume was reflective of a growing tendency toward disciplinary critique; in this case, the disciplines under discussion were principally ethnography and anthropology. These developments -- the culmination of, in some cases, decades of effort – have made Native American art history a productive field of study. In the past two decades, major new museums have been founded and existing collections have been reoriented and reorganized. Alternative spaces and tribal museums have emerged as influential interpreters and brokers of Native American art. In the United States, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act became law, impacting the study, exhibition, and stewardship of Native art and cultural heritage. Native communities, curators, and scholars have claimed a role as stakeholders and collaborators. New initiatives for the funding and support of Native American art have been founded. Native art is now studied as part of an “American” art history, and in many cases, Native artists have moved decidedly into the mainstream, exhibiting internationally alongside a global cohort of contemporary artists. Moreover, the study and display of Native American art has been transformed by the introduction of new theories of visual culture; post-colonial, global, and media studies; and by an emerging interest in indigenous epistemologies. This panel seeks to explore in detail some of these developments, incursions, and conflicts, and assess their impact in the development of a “new” Native American art history. We are interested in papers that address theoretical, methodological and institutional changes and challenges of the past two decades. Papers will address new and emerging modes of exhibiting and studying traditional, historic, as well as contemporary artworks.

Keywords: Native American; Indigenous; Art History; Methodology; Globalism (or Globalization)

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