Unrecorded Arapaho artist, attributed to “Henderson Ledger Artist A,” also known as Horseback, “A Medicine Vision” (Arapaho, Oklahoma, 1880), pencil, colored pencil, and ink on paper (courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art, promised gift of Charles and Valerie Diker, photo by Dirk Bakker)

It was a big deal when the Metropolitan Museum of Art began displaying work by Indigenous artists in its American Wing in 2018. As Hyperallergic wrote at the time of the acquisition of Charles and Valerie Diker Collection’s 116 works by Indigenous artists: “Frequently in American museums, Indigenous art is excluded from the visual narrative of this country,” and “in spaces like the Met’s American Wing, often the only images of Native American people and culture were by non-Indigenous creators.” The acquisition and subsequent 2018 exhibition sought to correct that discrepancy in the Met, as well as locate work by Indigenous artists firmly within the context of “American art.”

The Met is now hosting a series of gallery talks and tours through their exhibition, Art of Native America: The Charles and Valerie Diker Collection, with one scheduled for Friday, August 16. The talks will discuss “the achievements of artists from more than fifty cultures across North America” and promise to help visitors unpack the history behind the artwork they’ll find in the halls of the American Wing. According to the Met, “The works reveal the complexity, vibrancy, and variation of Native life and offer new narratives of America’s past.” As with all of the museum’s gallery talks, the event is free to attend with museum admission, though stickers are required. The exhibition was curated by Gaylord Torrence and Marjorie Alexander.

When: Friday, August 16, 2019, 10:30–11:30 am (additional talks are scheduled for the same time on Wednesday, September 11; Friday, September 20; Wednesday, October 2)
Where: The Metropolitan Museum of Art (82nd Street & Fifth Avenue, Manhattan)

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Eric Vilas-Boas

Eric Vilas-Boas is the former managing editor of Hyperallergic. He has previously worked at Thrillist, Esquire, SPIN, Donorschoose.org, and his writing has appeared at Vulture, Slashfilm, Lit Hub, Paste,...

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