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Eye Contact: Contemporary Native American Photography from the Permanent Collection

From January 25, 2019 to December 31, 2019

Location: Members' Gallery (Floor 2)

Navigating by Our Grandmothers, from Plain(s) Warrior Artist by Rosalie Favell. 2000.24.

Shelley Niro, “Then Everyone Got Mad,” 2017. Digital photograph. 24 x 20 in.

In 2019, the Rockwell Museum will look at our permanent collection and exhibitions through the filter of Questioning Identity. This intimate exhibition explores the complexity of Native American identity as seen through the lens of First Nations photographers.

These contemporary works are curated from the permanent collection to help reinforce themes represented in the Native American Galleries. First Nations are not relegated to the past, but rather the past anchors and informs a thriving contemporary present.

Native Americans figured prominently in the subject matter of 19th century American paintings. However, many Anglo-European artists simply depicted American Indians as part of the natural landscape. They were frequently objectified as passive figures that did not meet the viewer’s gaze. In contrast to this tradition, contemporary Native American photography often presents First Nations sitters looking directly at the viewer and engaging us as equals.