Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has been gifted a trove of 109 Indigenous American works from the Reiter Family Collection that chronicles important developments in Native Southwest artistic traditions. The gift includes 82 Southwestern ceramic pieces as well as paintings and drawings, Pomo feather baskets, carvings from the Pacific Northwest, and ancient Meso- and Central American artworks.
The collection is a testament to the resurgence of ancient Pueblo techniques, styles, and motifs in the late 19th and 20th centuries, a lineage exemplified by the renowned Hopi-Tewa potter Nampeyo of Hano. Inspired by Sikyatki ceramic fragments found in the Hopi First Mesa, where many inhabitants of Tewa Pueblo took refuge during the Spanish invasion in the 1690s, Nampeyo achieved a unique synthesis of her ancestors’ motifs and her own designs nearly 400 years later. Pots made by her descendants, Fannie Nampeyo, as well as living artists Dextra Nampeyo and Steve Lucas, evince the continuation of these visual languages into the present.
Also included in the Reiter Family donation are a group of pots from neighboring Indigenous peoples of the Southwest, including the Santa Clara Pueblo, known for its polished blackware and red polychromic pottery. A wedding vase by 20th-century Santa Clara artist Margaret Tafoya is adorned with a deep relief carving of the Avanyu serpent, the Tewa guardian of water.
The gift comes at a time of rising museum and gallery interest in Native artwork, but also an increased awareness of its circulation and commercialization in non-Indigenous art market circuits to the possible detriment of Native communities. This week, members of the Osage Nation decried the auction of a cave in Missouri containing prehistoric Native American paintings on its wall. Dubbed “the most important rock art site in North America,” the cave was sold by Selkirk Auctioneers for $2.2 million to a private buyer.
A LACMA spokesperson told Hyperallergic that the works in the Reiter gift were acquired “via the artists and/or their descendants directly, as well as secondary market, auction, or gallery.” According to a press release, the Reiters began their collection with contemporary works purchased from the Santa Fe Indian Market and other venues in the 1980s and later worked their way backward, acquiring earlier and more historical pieces.
“The Reiter Family collections are both historically and institutionally significant in several regards,” the museum said in a statement. “Many of these works represent seminal moments when the Indigenous peoples of the Southwest began recuperating their traditional culture and integrating themselves into the Western art world.”
“In promising these works to LACMA, the Reiters wish to share with the wider public the powerful stories and artistic legacies of Indigenous American artists that so inspired them.”
The autumn holiday of Sukkot continues to offer solace and community for new generations.
Equity should be discussed in the form of European and American institutions partnering with the Benin government to create sustainable museums.
This exhibition in Great Falls, Montana addresses the concept of intention in contemporary fiber art and its complex relationship with the history of women’s art as craft.
Yamasaki’s most well-known projects — the twin towers and the Pruit-Igoe housing project — were both destroyed on national television.
An exquisitely illustrated and enlightening new book reveals the screen’s unique role in Japanese history and culture from its origins to the 20th century.
Explore new avenues in artistic practice and scholarship amongst a diverse cohort of peers while gaining leadership skills both academically and professionally.
Find the perfect gifts for friends and family.
There is nothing extraordinary about Murphy’s subjects and yet there is something inexplicably disturbing about her paintings and drawings.
In this exhibition, curated by Patrick Flores and presented by Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Paiwan artist Sakuliu reflects on interspecies co-sharing and coexistence.
Participatory photography aims to counter the pitfalls of photography as an exploitative or voyeuristic medium.
This week, a Frank Stella is installed as a public artwork in NYC, the women behind some iconic buildings, looting Cambodia, fighting anti-boycott laws, and more.
An Original Copy of US Constitution Sells for $43.2 Million, Becoming Most Expensive Document Ever Sold
MoMA board member Ken Griffin went well over asking for the document, beating out cryptocurrency enthusiasts who crowdfunded to purchase it.