On Special Exhibit at the James Museum
The James Museum Opens Explores diverse Native American cultures through photogravures and Native-made objects. The Stories They Tell: Indigenous Art and the Photography of Edward S. Curtis will be on display from February 4-May 14, 2023. This unique exhibition examines the relationships between art and cultural identity by pairing the photographic images of Native American culture by Edward S. Curtis, with correlative Native art. Presented in three sections: Southwest pottery and basketry, California basketry, and Northwest Coast carving and textiles, the show reflects on how objects harbor memories and tell stories about a time, a place, and a people. Edward Curtis produced one of the most extensive photographic projects in history.
He was working during the early 20th century, at a time when it was a commonly held belief among non-Natives that Native American culture would soon disappear. Curtis’s work reflects that concept. This exhibition offers examples of Native art from the 19th century to today, illustrating Native cultures as very much alive and thriving.
“This exhibition allows us to explore how diverse artforms are physical reflections of unique environments and ways of life,” says Caitlin Pendola, Assistant Curator at The James Museum and curator of this exhibition. “The objects chosen for this exhibition, not often seen in Florida, provide context and a new way of understanding Curtis’s work and Indigenous art.”
Pendola and co-curator Jason Wyatt, Collections Manager at The James Museum, brought together over 90 Native-made objects from the permanent collection, four private lenders, and seven museums from across the United States to tell the story. The Curtis works seen in this exhibition have been donated and lent by St. Petersburg couple Robb & Susan Hough.
With this exhibition visitors will get an immersive look into Native American material culture that bridges centuries of generational knowledge. “The museum is grateful for the legacy gifts from and long-term relationship with the Hough family,” says Curator of Art Emily Kapes. “This exhibition marks the beginning of what will be an ongoing examination of Curtis’s legacy, with more exhibitions of his work to come in the future.”
The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art at 150 Central Avenue, is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, call 727.892.4200 or visit www.thejamesmuseum.org.
More About The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art:
The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art provides experiences that inspire human connection and transformation through art depicting the peoples, landscapes, and history of the American West, and wildlife of the world. More than 400 premiere works of art including sculpture, paintings and jewelry are on display in the museum’s 26,000 square feet of gallery space.
The museum engages the community through programs and educational opportunities, for all ages, that bring our history to life and amplify voices that are not often at the forefront of mainstream Western art. When The James Museum opened in April 2018 it became one of the newest additions to St. Petersburg’s thriving arts community.
Content and images courtesy of The James Museum for editorial purposes only–all right reserved. Feature image caption: Sammy Naranjo, Bowl with Avanyu and Bear Paw Design, c. 2008. For another fun thing to do supporting arts in St Pete, check out the Second Saturday Artwalk here.