May 28, 2023
Annapolis, US 66 F

The Mitchell Gallery goes virtual

Mask, Ca. 1850, Central Yup’ik, Bristol Bay, Alaska, cedar wood & bark, duck feathers, snowy owl feathers, sandhill crane feathers, caribou fur, white clay & black pigment, Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York.

The Mitchell Gallery announces opportunities for virtual views and exploration of the current exhibition, “American Indian Art from the Fenimore Art Museum: The Thaw Collection.” One can enjoy both “Armchair Virtual Tours” with digital presentations and Zoom virtual tours with Art Educator Lucinda Edinberg.

The exhibition features 44 pieces of American Indian art spanning nearly two millenniums. With objects including sculptures, paintings, drawings, basketry, textiles, ceramics, and other media, the exhibition represents the varying aesthetic traditions of North America’s native peoples. To see the digital “Armchair Virtual Tours” presentations, visit the Mitchell Gallery’s Facebook or Instagram page. To schedule a Zoom virtual tour with Art Educator Lucinda Edinberg, email: [email protected]. Minimum of eight per group.

The oldest object in the collection dates back to approximately 100-600 A.D.—a carved Ipiutak polar bear figure made out of sea mammal ivory—while more recent pieces include a 19th century cowhide war record commemorating a battle between the Lakota and Crow. Other works include painted ceramics and weavings from Hopi and Diné (Navajo) artists, as well as a leatherbound drawing book by the artist Black Hawk (Sans Arcs Sioux) that contains 76 striking illustrations. Housed under one roof and joined together by region in the context of Native American history, the objects on display in the Mitchell Gallery form a stunning, powerful exhibition.

Art Educator Lucinda Edinberg provides virtual presentations on the collection and its collectors, Eugene and Clare Thaw. Eugene Thaw graduated from St. John’s College in 1947 before embarking on a prolific career as an art historian, collector, philanthropist, and scholar. In addition to cultivating an outstanding collection of Native American art and rare works by Goya, Van Gogh, and more, Thaw served on the architectural advisory committee for the Mitchell Gallery and generously offered items from his collection for three separate Mitchell Gallery exhibitions.

Eugene and Clare Thaw donated their American Indian art collection to the Fenimore Art Museum in 1995; since then, the collection has grown to include a vast array of new pieces added by the Thaws and other donors. The Fenimore Art Museum states: “Each new object reaffirms the Thaws’ commitment to the beauty and artistry of American Indian art, and thus strengthens the philosophical foundation of the collection: that the aesthetic power of American Indian art is equivalent to that from any culture.”

For more information about the exhibit, email [email protected] or [email protected]. Mitchell Gallery, Mellon Hall, 60 College Avenue, Annapolis, MD.

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