Submitted by Tacoma Art Museum.
The homelands of more than 75 Native American communities are pictured in paintings of 14 notable landscapes in Tacoma Art Museum’s exhibition On Native Land: Landscapes from the Haub Family Collection opening Nov. 6. These communities will be recognized in written land acknowledgments that appear on labels next to each painting in the gallery.
Landscape painting as a genre focuses often on a single place, environment, or moment in nature. As meditations on the power of the natural world, landscapes are often devoid of signs of human presence. On Native Land expands the ways in which viewers interpret these landscapes by adding historical contexts that recognize the many different Native American communities whose homelands are illustrated in the paintings.
“We invite visitors to learn and share with us about land ownership, treaty rights, reservations, and Indigenous place names while considering the history of the land,” says Faith Brower, Haub Curator of Western American Art. “By connecting with members of the tribes whose homelands are depicted in On Native Land, my hope is to learn more about how these places remain vital and meaningful to Native American communities today.”
The exhibition shares perspectives about the subject of land acknowledgments in articles, videos, and other resources in the gallery and online. QR codes in the gallery will encourage visitors to engage with online resources highlighting Native American voices and responses that are pertinent to the lands depicted in works on view.
“On Native Land offers visitors an opportunity to explore landscape paintings while recognizing the important cultural history of the land,” says David F. Setford, Executive Director. “This exhibition continues efforts at the Museum to think broadly about the ways in which artworks are interpreted and how TAM can better work with communities to share important stories.”
Outreach to Native American communities to further research the lands pictured continues. The exhibition and related online materials will be updated as additional information about the landscapes is gathered. The exhibition will be on view through 2023.
TAM would like to thank the advisors who consulted on this exhibition, especially Amber Hayward (Puyallup Tribe) and Charlotte Basch (Puyallup Tribe). Basch’s curatorial work about landscape paintings and honoring Indigenous communities inspired TAM’s work on the subject. The Museum would also like to recognize artists Chris Duenas (Puyallup) and Anthony Duenas (Puyallup) for creating the exhibition logo.
This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the Haub Family Endowment. Additional funding provided by ArtsFund and Tacoma Creates.