New York City, NY
This choice selection of exceptional Native American works of art is drawn entirely from New York's Charles and Valerie Diker Collection—one of the most outstanding and comprehensive private collections of its kind. With artworks ranging in date from the second to the early twentieth century, Native American Masterpieces from the Charles and Valerie Diker Collection celebrates the achievements of artists from culturally distinct indigenous traditions across the North American continent.
The works featured reflect their unique and innovative visions in an expansive array of aesthetic forms and media. Their presentation at The Met this season celebrates the collection's return to New York City at the conclusion of its national tour as part of the exhibition Indigenous Beauty organized by the American Federation of Arts.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website
Whether or not you go, Native Paths: American Indian Art from the Collection of Charles and Valerie Diker brings together well over one hundred Native North American works of art from the collection of Charles and Valerie Diker. Representing many different peoples and traditions and a wide variety of materials and functions, these superb objects reflect the great cultural and artistic diversity of the Native peoples of the western hemisphere. Included are quilled and beaded works of the Plains Indians, pottery and basketry vessels of the Southwest and California, and wood sculpture of the Pacific Northwest, among many other forms and traditions. Often viewed in ethnographic terms, these works are presented here for their aesthetic rather than their anthropological value. As W. Richard West, director of the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, points out in his introduction to this book, "these objects created by American Indians constitute a body of remarkable art by any aesthetic measure."
Each chapter, contributed by an expert in the field, serves to introduce the reader to aspects of American Indian art. Janet Catherine Berlo discusses the so-called ledger drawings, images of Plains Indian life that record historic and mythic events of the late nineteenth and the early twentieth century. T. J. Brasser describes the bead and quillwork of the peoples of the Great Plains and the Eastern Woodlands. Bruce Bernstein reviews elements of the multifaceted art of the Southwest. Allen Wardwell served as general editor of this project and also contributed the chapter on American Indian sculpture in both the Northwest and the Northeast. Color photographs taken especially for this book demonstrate the high quality of these exciting and evocative pieces. [This book was originally published in 1999 and has gone out of print. This edition is a print-on-demand version of the original book.]