Museum: Native Americans in the United States Essay

Submitted By Crispy_Lopes
Words: 984
Pages: 4

Montclair art museum

I visited The Montclair Art Museum; which opened its doors in 1914, it is one of the few museums in the United States devoted to American art and Native American art forms. The collection consists of more than 12,000 works. The American collection comprises paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, and sculpture dating from the 18th century to the present. The museum's holdings of traditional and contemporary American Indian art and artifacts represent the cultural achievements in weaving, pottery, woodcarving, jewelry, and textiles of indigenous Americans from seven major regions (Northwest Coast, California, Southwest, Plains, Woodlands, Southeast, and the Arctic); the work of contemporary American Indian artists is also represented. I met up with two friends from class in the parking lot and walked in together where we walked upstairs to a lobby where there ware a couple of protected paintings and a mini bar with people just waiting around for the next tour to start. Yes of course we did have a cup of wine to look fancy but couldn’t really leave the lobby to explore the museum on our own with a drink for obvious reasons. When we finished our second drink, we didn’t want to wait any more so we exited the lobby walking right into the Native American exhibit. There was mostly weaving, pottery, woodcarving, jewelry, with come modern native artwork. What really attracted me was the Native weaving baskets and traditional clothing. I felt like that was the most fascinating work t me from the Native American exhibit. There was one outfit that I particular liked the most; which happen to be a native garment for men. Warriors, spiritual leaders, and heads of tribes wore this type of garment as a badge of office and honor. These shirts were also thought to channel animal powers to the wearer and convey generosity, honor, and bravery both in battle and in peacetime. After I saw finished with the Native American exhibit, we notice the tour was going on the next room, so we joined in. The tour guy was talking about Robert Smithson. He mentioned that Smithson was a pioneer of earthworks and native to New Jersey. His sculptures, works on paper, photographs, and other conceptual art rooted in his time spent in the Garden State form a coherent body of work, which sheds important light on his artistic practice. In Franklin, the Pine Barrens, Bayonne, and Edgewater, Smithson found elements for his Non sites which were indoor earthworks for which various unorthodox materials at that time (limestone, concrete, and rocks) were brought out of their usual environment into a gallery and arranged in bin-like containers ordered from a metal fabrication shop. Photographic documentation as well as typed and handwritten descriptions accompanies these works. After a while of checking out Smithson’s work, we left the tour and checked out the rest of the gallery for myself, splitting up with my friends. I walked in the next room, which caught my attention. The hall had green walls with galleries of landscape. There was a saying at the top of the other side of the hallway, which said, in gold letters “Knowledge Must Bow to Spirit”. I thought that was pretty cool, I’ve never herd that saying before. The hall way was full of George Inness work. The first painting that lured me in was “Winter Moonlight Christmas Eve” it was a painted in 1866 with oil on canvas. It’s a painting mainly of landscape with a man walking towards the woods, where a dimly lit house resides, on a winter night under a full moon. The painting is made mostly of blue brown and shades of greys. During the 1860’s Inness made critical aesthetics and spiritual progress. Some critics around this time began to understand the work of George Inness and labeled him a genius. A significant influence on his work at this time was his exposure to the