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Unveiling the New Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Gallery

A new gallery dedicated to Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) art and culture will join The Rockwell’s permanent collection galleries, opening to the public on November 16, 2017.

Mohawk, Cradleboard/Ga-on-seh

Circa 1865, Polychrome wood, twine, 30¾ x 15 x 13 in. (78.1 x 38.1 x 33 cm). Museum Purchase with Funds Donated by James B. Flaws and Marcia D. Weber and the Clara S. Peck Fund. 2013.5. The Rockwell Museum, Corning, NY.

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Haudenosaunee infants were swaddled in rigid cradleboards, a common practice among many Native Americans. These cradleboards were noted for their elaborately carved and brightly colored backs which often featured naturalistic design motifs such as birds and flowering plants.

Haudenosaunee, Child’s Beaded Cap

Circa 1880-1890, Cotton, wool velvet, glass beads, 5 x 5½ in. (12. 7 x 14 cm). Clara S. Peck Fund Purchase. 2017.10.8. The Rockwell Museum, Corning, NY.

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Haudenosaunee beadworkers produced many different styles of hats and headbands in the 19th century. Exposure to European styles of dress influenced the evolution of these traditional designs. The decoration and complexity of each work were limited only by the creativity of the artist. Before the availability of glass beads, porcupine quills were used to adorn Haudenosaunee headwear. Glass beads later became valuable trade goods for all Native cultures and are still used by contemporary artists who continue this rich tradition.

Haudenosaunee, Cooking Pot

Late pre-contact, earthenware, 4 1/8 × 4½ in. (10.5 × 11.4 cm). Clara S. Peck Fund Purchase. 2017.10.12. The Rockwell Museum, Corning, NY.

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This style of earthenware pot was commonly used by the Haudenosaunee prior to European contact. European metal cooking ware eventually replaced traditional pottery vessels. This pot has been blackened by continued use and exposure to fire. The incised designs on the rim and body of the pot are typical of Haudenosaunee ceramic ornamentation of the period.

Haudenosaunee, Wooden Burl Bowl/Gä-jih

Circa 1800, Ash burl, 5¼ x 15 x 14¼ in. (13.3 x 38.1 x 36.2 cm). Museum Purchase with Funds Donated by James B. Flaws and Marcia D. Weber and the Clara S. Peck Fund. 2013.6.1. The Rockwell Museum, Corning, NY.

Wooden utensils such as bowls and ladles were made and used by the Haudenosaunee, a tradition that continued despite the introduction of European metal trade goods. Bowls made from tree burls, rounded outgrowths found on tree trunks, often feature circular figuring in the wood’s grain and are more impervious to liquids.

Richard Glazer-Danay, The Chief is Dead, Long Live the Chief

2005, Mixed media, plastic, feathers, beads, 13 x 13 x 11 in. (33 x 33 27.9 cm) Gift of Ric Danay and Gayle Glazer. 2017.18. The Rockwell Museum, Corning, NY.

Danay works as a painter and a sculptor, and often combines both media in the same work. He works with brightly colored paints, glossy enamels, and found objects, which combine Mohawk influences and references to pop and postmodernist art. Danay uses humor, irony, and metaphor to challenge his viewers while critiquing stereotypical attitudes of mainstream society.

Shelley Niro, Then Everyone Got Mad

2017, Photographic collage, 21 x 15 in. (53.3 x 38.1 cm) Clara S. Peck Fund Purchase. 2017.17. The Rockwell Museum, Corning, NY.

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Shelley Niro was born in Niagara Falls, New York in 1954 and grew up on the Six Nations Reserve, near Brantford, Ontario, Canada. She is a member of the Turtle Clan. Many of Niro’s works are conceptual, touching on themes of gender imbalance, cultural appropriation, and the importance of cultural influences. She uses the immersion of different mediums to engage her audience with her perspective. To balance heavy themes, Niro’s pieces often use humor and satire to convey social misconceptions about her culture while poking fun at outdated stereotypes and ideas.

Haudenosaunee, which translates to The People of the Longhouse, refers to the six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy – Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Tuscarora, and Mohawk. This new permanent gallery at The Rockwell will feature a blend of art and objects of material culture of many different Nations, from pre-contact tools to 19th-century clothes, toys, dolls, baskets and bowls, as well as contemporary fine art by artists including Shelley Niro, Peter Jemison and Richard Glazer-Danay.

Curator of Collections, Kirsty Buchanan, worked with Seneca Faithkeeper Peter Jemison, as well as Jonathan Holstein, Native American Scholar, to select and interpret the art and objects that will be on view in the new gallery.

Don’t miss two opportunities to be the first to witness and celebrate the opening of this new gallery with us!

Cradleboard (Mohawk), c. 1865. Polychrome wood, twine. 30¼ in. x 15 in. x 13 in. 2013.5.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 | 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Haudenosaunee Gallery Opening Reception

Join us for refreshments and conversation at the unveiling for the NEW Haudenosaunee Gallery, to be located in The Rockwell’s third-floor permanent collection galleries. This unique celebration will include a welcome blessing and a special performance by the Allegany River Dancers starting at 6:00 p.m.

Learn more & RSVP

Sunday, November 19, 2017 | 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Family Day: Haudenosaunee Gallery Opening Celebration

No reservations needed for this drop-in, interactive learning experience for families. Learn about local culture and traditions with the Native American Council of Corning Incorporated. Hear native stories and legends with the Southeast Steuben County Library. Taste the Haudenosaunee ‘Three Sister’ crops (corn, beans and squash) prepared in a variety of tasty culinary recipes.

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