Native American Art at Dartmouth
For Native Americans, Thanksgiving is not a cause for celebration. The holiday commemorating the survival – thanks to the Wampanoag tribe – of early settlers also marks the first wave of a European invasion that culminated in the death of 10 to 30 million native people. The meaning has evolved, but images of buckle-hatted pilgrims dining with fringed and feathered Indians still get tacked up on grammar school walls. When the artist Fritz Scholder published “Indian Kitsch” in 1979, it was a rejection of the romantic clichés that classrooms, Hollywood, sports franchises and off-the-highway gift shops have traded on, and a call for Native American artists to foresake curios and trinkets for fine objects and expressive painting. Scholder’s works are among many historic and contemporary pieces on view at the exhibition Native American Art now at the hood museum. The show represents the diversity and depth of Dartmouth’s permanent collection of indigenous art from North America and opens up a dialogue across centuries of American Indian art and artists. Joining us are Michael Taylor , director at the hood museum, and Vera Palmer, Senior Lecturer on the faculty of the Native American studies department at Dartmouth.