The Indianapolis Museum of Art
presents Art of the American Indians: The Thaw Collection. The major traveling exhibition developed by the Fenimore Art Museum explores Native North American art from the Eastern Woodlands to the Northwest through more than 100 masterpieces spanning 2,000 years. The exhibition provides visitors with a broad understanding and appreciation of the aesthetic accomplishments and cultural heritage of North Americas first inhabitants. Art of the American Indians will be on view in the Allen Whitehill Clowes Gallery through February 12, 2012.
The objects in the exhibition are drawn from The Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of Native North American Art, which was assembled over the past two decades by Eugene V. Thaw, one of the art worlds most distinguished connoisseurs and collectors of art.
The exhibition highlights the beauty and virtuosity of each piece, presenting it as a milestone of creativity and individual artistic expression. The exhibition also reveals the extraordinary range of art produced by Native American cultures. While the works of art are enormously diversified in type, style, and use of materials, they demonstrate a consistent appreciation of the power of the natural world in human affairs and the universal appeal of beautifully realized works of art.
This collection includes many of the finest Native American objects in existence, said Maxwell L. Anderson, The Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO of the IMA. Art of the American Indians will illuminate the origins of our citys name while Indianapolis hosts the 2012 Super Bowl. This is the IMAs first Native American art exhibition in almost 30 years, said Niloo Paydar, IMA curator of textile and fashion arts and exhibition curator. We are excited to present these outstanding works of art to our museum audience.
The exhibition celebrates the extraordinary range of native North American works of art and is organized by geographic culture areas. The Arctic and sub-Arctic regions are represented by ancient ivories and ingenious modern masks. The astonishingly beautiful and dramatic arts of the Pacific Northwest form another pillar of the Thaw Collection.
The abstract art of the culturally complex Southwest will be shown in both its ancient and modern manifestations. From the Plains come outstanding examples of the colorful beaded, feathered, and painted works for which the region is most famous. Finally, the Eastern Woodlands, including the Great Lakes, is another great strength of the collection with their visually quieter and more contemplative arts. The majority of the pieces in the collection date to the 19th century, but archaeological and contemporary works also are included to demonstrate the continued vitality of Native North American cultures.