Why did the curator put these objects together?
The views shared by many Americans around the centennial towards Native Americans people, contrasted with actual works made by Natives, are being highlighted here. Many people regarded natives as "Noble Savages" that were disappearing and wanted to capture and preserve that legacy.
In actuality, Native American culture was alive and well. Some people continued to lived in traditional ways on tribal lands and others moved into cities and lived like "typical Americans."
You're welcome! You'll notice that many of the works in this room date to the 1870s. 1876 was the United States' Centennial celebration so it was a time of reflection -- what was America all about? How was national identity represented in visual art?