‘Conventional Narratives of History Are Being Expanded’: Native Art Is Now Appearing in the Met’s American Wing

ArtNet News, October 2, 2018

“When the Metropolitan Museum of Art opens its show “Art of Native America: The Charles and Valerie Diker Collection” on Thursday, it will mark the first time the museum has held a show of Native American art in its American wing.

The exhibition features 116 pieces from the Dikers, a diverse range of works created by over 50 different Native American cultures dating from the 2nd century to the early 20th century. The couple has made a promised gift of many of the pieces—others are loans, or have already been donated—with the express intention that they be shown with other American works.

“The presentation in the American Wing of these exceptional works by Indigenous artists marks a critical moment in which conventional narratives of history are being expanded to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of cultures that have long been marginalized,” said Met director Max Hollein in a statement, He went on to credit the Dikers with having “forever transformed the Met’s ability to more fully display the development of American art, enabling an important shift in thinking.”

In other countries, it is common to present indigenous art as part of the wider arc of a nation’s art history, but like many US museums, the Met has always shown Native American art in its galleries for Africa, Oceania, and the Americas.”

More here.