Thursday, February 25, 2010

A catalog for Art of the American Indians: The Thaw Collection

By: Michelle L. Murdock, Curator of Exhibitions
 As I write this, we are about to “put the catalog to bed.” It has earned a good night’s sleep for sure. For the past few weeks I and my colleagues have been editing and proofing the new catalog that accompanies our traveling exhibition, Art of the American Indians: The Thaw Collection which debuts at the Cleveland Museum of Art on March 7th. I am absolutely in love with this book. It includes new essays by several authors including Janet C. Berlo, Ruth B. Phillips, Joe D. Horse Capture, Aldona Jonaitis, Steven A. LeBlanc and Norman Vorano. Several other scholars also contributed: D.Y. Begay, Marvin Cohodas, Chuna McIntyre, Scott Meachum, Marla Redcorn-Miller and Megan Smetzer.

Rather than publishing typical regional surveys of American Indian material, the authors were invited to choose an idiosyncratic approach to their essays, which offers the reader new insights into objects, makers and cultures. Phillips, for example, compares & contrasts three Great Lakes bags from the Collection, while Jonaitis discusses the art and culture of food in the Northwest Coast, as exemplified by objects from the Collection. The shorter essays in the catalogue demonstrate the varied ways that particular objects of Native art can be studied, understood, and appreciated, using diverse critical methods. The combination of these varied approaches has resulted in unique and engaging storylines.

And the design is just gorgeous. Our long-time publication designers at Nadeau Design Associates in Utica, N.Y. have worked their magic again. Their innovative approach this time includes details of many artifacts reproduced at full size. This allows readers to appreciate the intricacies of quillwork, beadwork, etching and painting.

The book Art of the American Indians: The Thaw Collection will be available from our Museum Shop very soon!

1 comment:

Tobi Voigt said...

I can't wait to see it!

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