For the first time, a major Native American art exhibit is being shown in the American Wing of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, rather than in Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas.
“Some visitors were confused about why Native American Art wasn’t in the American Wing with other American works,” says Sylvia Yount, curator in charge of the American Wing, which has been focused more on Euro-American traditions.
A major new exhibit, “Art of Native America: The Charles and Valerie Diker Collection,” seeks to change that.
The Dikers recently promised 91 pieces to the museum with the understanding that they be placed in the American Wing and recognized as American rather than tribal art. The show includes many of these works, in addition to some already given to the museum. The show aims to reposition Native American art as a crucial and inextricable part of American art as a whole. (Other Native American works remain on view elsewhere in the museum, as well.)