Tuesday, October 8, 2013

By Her Hand: Art of Native American Women & the Photographs of Edward S. Curtis

The Stamford Museum and Nature Center's new art and photography show, By Her Hand: Art of Native American Women and the Photography of Edward S. Curtis is taking place through December 1 and provides the opportunity to "meet" the Native American women that have combined natural resources with trade goods to produce extraordinary works of art. Selected from the permanent collection of the Stamford Museum & Nature Center, their works are paired in this unprecedented exhibition, with the iconic photographs of Edward S. Curtis, who captured the last vestiges of traditional Native American culture in the western United States. His mission was to safeguard a sacred legacy by preserving traditional culture and personal histories through his photographs. This exhibition offers a palpable connection between object and artist and provides a powerful opportunity to experience Native American art and culture.

Women who developed styles and techniques that elevated the shapes, patterns and functions of utilitarian objects, such as basketry, pottery, textiles and beadwork, into works of art were identified as true artisans and their highly-prized works are part of this exhibition. Through Curtis' photographs, you can look into the eyes of a young girl who learned to adapt, yet remained determined to preserve her traditional culture.

Noted Native American artists from Alaska to Arizona, whose exquisite works are on display, include: Sally, a Wasco basket maker whose corn-husk creations were copied, but never duplicated; Maria Martinez, a Tewa/Tano potter who revived and protected the ancient secret of creating jet-black pottery; Scees Bryant Possock, a Washoe basket artist and sister-in-law of Louisa Keyser (Dat-so-la-lee); and Joseppa, master of the Pomo miniature basket. See Nampeyo, photographed painting one of her signature pots, and view an actual Tano bowl attributed to her.

The Bendel Mansion Museum Galleries are open, Monday – Saturday 9 am – 5 pm; Sundays 11 am – 5 pm. Members: Free /Non-Members: Free with gate admission. For more information visit www.stamfordmuseum.org or call 203.977.6521.  For area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

Stamford Museum & Nature Center
Stamford Museum & Nature Center, a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization, is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of art and popular culture, the natural and agricultural sciences, and history. The Museum is a vital cultural and educational resource for the community, and a focal point for family activity and interaction, seeking to inspire creativity, foster self-discovery, promote environmental stewardship and nurture an appreciation for lifelong learning through exhibitions, educational programs, and special events that enhance the visitor's experience of its unique site.

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