Boston Globe Offers Laudatory Review of “Place, Nations, Generations, Beings”

January 28, 2020

Since its early November opening, the Yale University Art Gallery (YUAG) exhibition, Place, Nations, Generations, Beings: 200 Years of Indigenous North American Art, has garnered broad acclaim and media coverage. Student newspapers, Yale campus media, and, most recently, the January 12th(Sunday edition) of the Boston Globe have all covered this historic exhibition. The culmination of three years of work by a group of dedicated student curators—Katherine Nova McCleary (Little Shell Chippewa-Cree) ’18; Leah Tamar Shrestinian, ’18; and Joseph Zordan (Bad River Ojbiwe) ’19—this show draws from across campus institutions to highlight Yale’s extensive, centuries-long holdings of Native American creative and artistic production.

When visiting the exhibition, Boston Globe reporter Murray Whyte was struck by its distinctive, broad, and ethically-minded curatorial methods. Having worked previously in Canada in coverage of cultural affairs and Indigenous arts, Whyte sensed the exhibition’s awareness of other Indigenous-centered curatorial efforts occurring across North American museums. As he writes, “The curators describe the works here as ‘emissaries’—still belonging to the various nations whose members created them, resting here as emblems of colonial violence and the resilient people who made them.”

Themes of violence and curatorial redress resonate throughout his extended review of the YUAG exhibition. From contemporary photography to nineteenth-century weavings, from boarding school drawings to late twentieth-century ceramics, this show marks, as Yale University Art Gallery Director Stephanie Wiles has written, a “milestone in the display and interpretative of Native American art at Yale.”

The exhibition will be on display at the Yale University Art Gallery until June 21, 2020.  

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