of the American Indian
3001 Central Street
Evanston, IL 60201
Past Exhibit Archives
Across the country, there are hundreds of thousands of stories that make up the oral traditions of North America’s first people. Stories that share, record, entertain, and teach others about this life and culture. In the exhibit, you can consider contemporary issues facing American Indian cultures, such as language preservation and land ownership. Learn how American Indians use storytelling traditions as tools to face these concerns.
Challenge your notions of Native American art in the Mitchell Museum's exhibit Another View of American Indian Fine Art. Organized by geographic regions, this exhibit explores the influences of several key Indian art schools, the first generation of artists to emerge from these schools, and the incorporation of modern techniques, styles, and media by contemporary American Indian artists as they transition from "ethnic art" to fine art.
Learn about the ways in which American Indian Fine Art has changed over time. From trading posts to the international contemporary art world, Native artists have contributed much to the American art tradition. This exhibit challenges perceptions of American Indian art, and features work by Woody Crumbo, Dan Namingha, and other well-known artists. The exhibit also includes many interactive displays, including an art table, discussion boards, and an guessing game that will challenge perceptions on this dynamic topic.
The year 2012 marked the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. Referred to as “America’s Second War of Independence,” the conflict saw allied Native American, British, and Canadian forces battling the United States in a war that lasted two and a half years. Largely forgotten in America, the War of 1812 played an important role in shaping the country as we know it and in understanding historic and contemporary American Indian and government relations.
Many of us face stereotypes and misconceptions about our heritage and culture. But what stereotypes impact the lives of Native peoples the most? The Mitchell Museum of the American Indian surveyed Native American and Indigenous Canadian peoples to find out. The results identified the top ten stereotypes and misconceptions that Native peoples face today from mascots and casinos to addiction and treaty rights. Explore the exhibit to read quotes from Native peoples, see artifacts and art addressing those stereotypes, and learn some Native perspectives about the truths that divide and unite us. June 18, 2011 - May, 2012
An American Indian metropolis settled between 600 and 1300 CE, Cahokia offers an incredible glimpse into Mississippian culture. Learn about the life and inhabitants of this city that was larger than London before being abandoned in 1300. On display from March 12, 2011- January 2012.
From as early as 650 C.E., the ancestors of the present day Zuni, the Anasazi, have carved fetishes, objects believed to hold supernatural powers, or a spirit living inside. In modern times, an animal carving must be blessed by a Zuni priest to be considered a fetish. While not all carvings today have the power of fetishes, the term is commonly used to describe a wide variety of stone animals.
See extraordinary keepsake objects made by Woodlands and Plains Native artists and learn how quillwork was made from porcupines. Closed February 20, 2011.
Focusing on the history and artistry of this contemporary art form, over 100 Native American made bolos and other men's jewelry tell the story of Native involvement in creating bolo ties. Open October 30, 2010 - February 6, 2011.
“Intrigue and Novelty” highlights the work of 9 contemporary Native American women artists portraying images of Native tradition and pop iconography. Open October 30, 2010 - February 6, 2011.
Dazzling Colors: The Evolution of Plains Reservation Art highlights dozens of artifacts from the Mitchell Museum's permanent collection, including beaded clothing, quillwork, dolls, beaded purses, and more, using these pieces to tell the story of continuity and change at a time of rapidly changing lifeways for Plains tribal groups. Open July 3 - October 17, 2010
Baskets have been made and used by many cultures throughout the world from ancient times through the present day. In American Indian cultures, baskets ranged from sacred ceremonial objects to household tools. The 21 baskets on display are examples of utilitarian baskets that played a major role in the gathering, production, and storage of food. September 2010
Tobacco has been used by Native American people throughout history. Used principally for ceremonial use, European contact introduced the practice of smoking tobacco for pleasure. The innovation of smoking tobacco in pipes in North America differed from the Central, South American, and Caribbean practice of smoking tobacco wrapped in leaves in cigar form. While the shape and materials used to fashion pipes and pipe stems varies among regional and tribal lines, the practice of using tobacco is the most prominent common unifying element among the tribes of North America. Closed August 8, 2010.
Coinciding with the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, "Raising the Totem: Exploring Northwest Coast Indigenous Cultures" opened to the general public on Saturday, January 23. The exhibit highlighted the cultures of Native peoples of the Pacific Northwest and featured ceremonial cedar masks, totem pole models, flat art, baskets, rattles, and other items that help illustrate Northwest Coast spirituality, history, customs, and contemporary concerns. Closed June 13, 2010.
Seven contemporary Native American artists from the Great Lakes region explore their interpretations of the revered principles known as The Seven Grandfather Teachings in an exhibit on view September 20 to December 30, 2009.
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