Each Month We Ask Leading Museum Curators About What’s Going On In Their World.
What event (gallery show, museum exhibit, etc.) in the next few months are you looking forward to, and why?
Our next exhibit, following Winter Celebrations opening on February 2, is Cultural Appropriation. The Smoki Museum has been tackling difficult subjects in exhibits for over 14 years, and this one will show that many societal norms are offensive to Native people, reinforcing our mission of “respect and understanding.” Using our own past as an example on how reform your way of thinking is at the very heart of this exhibit, and we hope that all visitors will go home thinking about how they can change themselves to embrace different cultures and values.
What are you reading?
I’ve just finished There, There by Tommy Orange. It is a disturbing look at contemporary Native life in Oakland, California. Wonderfully written.
Interesting exhibit, gallery opening or work of art you’ve seen recently.
Staff and volunteers recently visited the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe. James Luna’s exhibit Take a Picture with a Real Indian is thought provoking, sad and wonderful all at the same time.
What are you researching at the moment?
I am rereading books by Vine Deloria, and all works in our library dealing with cultural appropriation. While the “Smoki People” provided a fine example, there are many others out there, some still persisting in the imitation of our Native people.
What is your dream exhibit to curate? Or see someone else curate?
I hope to one day see national recognition of Kate T. Cory, with our museum leading the way. She was classically trained, and prolific. We are fortunate at the Smoki Museum to have such a large collection of her work, and we continue to have pieces donated frequently. I would really like to see many organizations that hold her work come together and celebrate her through concurrent exhibitions.
The Smoki Museum in Prescott, Arizona. Kate T. Cory (1861-1958), Buffalo Dancer
Cindy Gresser Executive Director Smoki Museum Prescott, AZ (928) 445-1230 www.smokimuseum.org