Since opening in 1939, Philbrook has had an ongoing commitment to Native American art. This commitment takes many forms, from acquiring significant works to developing exhibitions and programs, researching collections, and producing publications and other materials to enhance visitors’ understanding of Native art, culture, and life. In fact, Native American art is the single largest portion of the Museum’s holdings and includes a diverse array of artwork from across North America including basketry, jewelry, paintings, pottery, and such cultural arts as clothing, moccasins, and objects used in daily and ceremonial life.
The exhibition Identity & Inspiration features nearly 200 objects that reflect the motivations influencing the artists’ creative processes, from the desire to preserve tribal traditions to incorporating new materials and producing work for new audiences. Other influences include the challenge to push boundaries by generating innovative forms and designs, and incorporating movements like Pop Art and even social commentary in their pieces. Throughout the exhibition of exceptional works of art, the focus is on the individual artists who are inspired by a various sources, and who in turn inspire us through their creativity and virtuosity.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.