At the end of June 2015, I began my six-month curatorial residency at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). I have been assigned to the “Collections Research and Documentation” unit where I am going through the records of the Indian Arts and Crafts Board (IACB) collection (which was transferred to the museum in 2000 from the U.S. Department of the Interior). Numbering more than 6,300 artworks from its headquarters office in D.C., the collection is an amazing record of artistic movements, regional styles, and experimental projects produced by hundreds of Native artists.
As part of my project, I am correcting any errors in the museum’s database records by comparing them with the original IACB accession files. My dissertation is on the IACB, and I am excited about working with the collection. I am sharing my findings through a blog that is part of the official NMAI blog. It will be a weekly feature within the “Objects in the Spotlight” section where I highlight one artwork. The blog is my way to educate others about the IACB and to showcase items within the collection that may never go on exhibit.
I hope you enjoy.