Saturday, April 21, 2012

Art Therapy

Greeter, sculpture by George Carlson, meets visitors
at the Museum's main entrance.

My original plan was to go to the Fire Department Instructors' Congress 
at the Indiana Convention Center. It was, that is, until I found out 
it was going to cost $45 to browse the Convention Center floor to check out 
displays  of the latest fire fighting apparatus and equipment.
Instead, I walked over to the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians 
and Western Art, where I spent the entire afternoon surrounded 
by beautiful things. Of course, I took so many pictures 
I can't possibly show them all.
I will begin with a few of the beautiful paintings
and carvings, then dole out the remainder on other days.

I visited with one of the Museum's volunteers who was explaining
and demonstrating how Native Americans used materials
found in the natural world to create items for every day use
as well as for ceremonies, utilizing as much of the animal
as possible, so as not to waste a valuable resource.
 Of course, this included the American Buffalo, 
as well as bear, rabbits, beaver and porcupine.
One of her most interesting items was a blanket woven from
strips of rabbit fur. Its loose weave was warmer than one might think, 
the wearer's body heat retained among the loose strands of fur.

The mask above was created using the bone marrow from
the spine of a whale, surrounded by polar bear fur.
Carrying that bit of information helped me to appreciate
the carving below, also made from bone marrow ... 

Bear, by Wilson Oozean (Inuit, Gambell),
Bone Marrow
... was one among many examples of items carved from
parts of the animal most of us might think expendable.

Old Woman Singing Traditional Song, 1998
by Mattiusie Iyoituk (Inuit, Ioujivik, Born 1950).
Serpentine with caribou antler
These beautiful creations are the work of contemporary artists 
using materials and traditions of their forefathers.

Fisherman, by Stanley Seegaman (Inuit, King Island)
Ivory, thread, and baleen.
In addition to the Native American art and artifacts, 
the Museum has a beautiful collection of Western American art, 
containing examples of the visions of the first explorers to 
contemporary artwork, particularly that done by
artists of Native American heritage.

Snake Indians, by Alfred Jacob Miller, 1840
(American, 1810 - 1874). Oil on paper
The artwork spans the past two centuries. I prefer the smaller works.
Somehow, when the ambition of size is not present, the artist
nevertheless gives one a sense of both the grandeur of the people 
and the landscape, at the same time creating an experience
that is more intimate and personal.

Morning Drink at the Foot of Mt. Hood,
by Albert Bierstadt
(American, born in Germany, 1830 - 1902)
Oil on paper.


dive said...

Beautiful, haunting and a hugely important part of your country's - and the whole world's - heritage. Thank you for this, Speedway. Lots more, please!

cieldequimper said...

Superb post, magnificent art. Thank you.