Exhibitions: Exhibition of Northwest Coast Art: The Art of the Indians of Alaska & Canada

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Exhibition of Northwest Coast Art: The Art of the Indians of Alaska & Canada

Press Releases ?
  • February 28, 1951: The Brooklyn Museum opened to the public today (Wed.) an exhibition which includes Indian art of Alaska and Canada which […] chiefly 19th century entitled “Northwest Coast Art”. The preview and tea was held yesterday (Tues.) for Museum members and guests. The exhibition will remain on view through April 15.

    The term ‘Northwest Coast’ describes the 1,000 miles of rocky shore from the Columbia river North into Alaska. As this area is isolated from the rest of the mainland by high mountains, the culture of its people was able to develop along different lines from others inland. Also its warm climate (due to the Humboldt Current), and the abundance of lumber, fish and game created a prosperous society with plenty of leisure time to devote to leisure activities. Houses were decorated with carved house posts, family crests adorned all sorts of household objects, elaborate rituals demanded colorful theatrical props, and huge feasts resulted in the need for large food dishes, etc.

    Examples of all the arts are included in the exhibition: large houseposts, feast bowls and spoons, horn dishes, painted leather robes, cedar-bark garments, theatrical masks, etc.

    A life-size sculpture of a man (Kwakiutl tribe) with a knife in his upraised hand greets the visitor in the Museum entrance hall.

    Other outstanding objects are: an 8 foot long fish elaborately carved and painted, a huge house board and house posts, a mask in the form of a beaver which is inlaid with mother-of-pearl.

    Objects in the exhibition are from The Brooklyn Museum’s collection or are lent for the exhibition by the following: American Museum of Natural History, Museum of the American Indian-Heye Foundation, Peabody Museum-Harvard University, Portland Art Museum, University Museum-University of Pennsylvania, Michael D. Coe, Rene D’Harnoncourt, Albert Gallatin, Yeffe V. Kimball, Nelson A. Rockefeller, and Hugh Smith.

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1947 - 1952. 01-03/1951, 026. View Original

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The Brooklyn Museum Archives maintains a collection of historical press releases. Many of these have been scanned and made available on our Web site. The releases range from brief announcements to extensive articles; images of the original releases have been included for your reference. Please note that all the original typographical elements, including occasional errors, have been retained. Releases may also contain errors as a result of the scanning process. We welcome your feedback about corrections.
For select exhibitions, we have made available some or all of the informative text panels written by the curator or organizer. Called "didactics," these panels are presented to the public during the exhibition's run, and we reproduce them here for your reference and archival interest. Please note that any illustrations on the original didactics have not been retained, and that the text may contain errors as a result of the scanning process. We welcome your feedback about corrections.
For select exhibitions, we have made available some or all of the objects from the Brooklyn Museum collection that were in the installation. These objects are listed here for your reference and archival interest, but the list may be incomplete and does not contain objects owned by other institutions or lenders.
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