Indigenous Art Exhibit’s Emblems of Colonial Violence and the Resilient People Who Made Them

Interview with Joseph Zordan, Yale University Art Gallery co-curator, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

An exhibit of indigenous art from Yale University’s vast collection opened in November at the University Art Gallery in New Haven. The three young curators of the exhibit, titled: Place, Nations, Generations, Beings: 200 Years of Indigenous North American Art, include two indigenous recent graduates of Yale.

For three years, they pored over the thousands of pieces held by Yale’s Peabody Museum, as well as other institutions on campus and winnowed their choices down to 93 pieces. These include items such as pottery, clothing, moccasins made from animal hides, beadwork, a Haida mask from current British Columbia, and paintings by contemporary artists.

One piece covering a large wall of the gallery was commissioned for this exhibit and features a drone on one half and an eagle on the other, and is titled “Predator and Prey.” Co-curator of the installation, Joseph Zordan is a member of the Bad River Ojibwe nation and recently gave Between The Lines’ producer Melinda Tuhus a tour of the exhibit.

The exhibit, Place, Nations, Generations, Beings: 200 Years of Indigenous North American Art runs until June 21 at the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven. 


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