Knowing the West

Exhibition Website

Sep 14 2024 - Jan 27 2025

The first major traveling exhibition to focus on the coexistence of art created between 1785 and 1922 by Native American and non-Native American artists, Knowing the West celebrates the American West as inclusive, complex, and reflective of the diverse peoples who contributed to art and life there.

Americans often feel they “know the West,” whether informed by direct experience or popular culture. Knowing the West embraces these impressions and expands ideas of art of the West by presenting more than 100 artworks including textiles, baskets, paintings, pottery, sculpture, beadworks, saddles, and prints. 

This exhibition recontextualizes historic artwork, encourages deeper exploration of a familiar topic, and celebrates the rich cultures that reflect the complexity of the American West. 

In collaboration with Rizzoli International Publications Inc., Crystal Bridges will present a fully illustrated publication to accompany Knowing the West, featuring essays by curators, curatorial advisors, and scholars. The book, like the exhibition, will center Native voices and perspectives as it takes a deeper look at the project’s aim to complicate popular perceptions of the American West.

Credit: Overview from museum website

Image credit: Nellie Two Bears Gates (Iháƞktȟuƞwaƞna Dakhóta, Standing Rock Reservation, 1854–1935), Suitcase, 1880–1910. Beads, hide, metal, oilcloth, and thread, 12 1/2 × 17 11/16 × 10 1/4 in. Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The Robert J. Ulrich Works of Art Purchase Fund, 2010.19. Photo: Minneapolis Institute of Art

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