The Metropolitan Museum of Art has made the important decision to display Native American masterworks in tandem with American paintings.
Excerpts from the full article published by the New York Times
When they visit the majestic American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, some international art lovers — especially ones from Canada, Australia and Asia — leave a bit perplexed, as if they’ve somehow missed an important gallery.
“They go through and expect to see Native American work here,” Sylvia Yount, the curator in charge of the wing, said the other day. “Because often where they come from, indigenous art is part of the narrative of a nation’s art, in a way that it’s not in the United States. We’re really behind the curve.”
But now the museum, with the help of a promised gift from one of the most comprehensive collections of Native American art in private hands, is poised to catapult itself well ahead of that curve. And the pieces that will soon arrive — among them a masterpiece jar by the Hopi-Tewa potter Nampeyo; an 18th-century Tlingit dagger with a haunting face-shaped hilt; a painted shield by the Hunkpapa Lakota master Joseph No Two Horns, from the Standing Rock reservation in the Dakotas — will not go where historical Native American art is often found, in the galleries for the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas.