Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Native Fashion Now at Peabody Essex Museum

Native Fashion Now
Native Fashion Now
All photos courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum. See captions below.

In these days between Columbus Day and Thanksgiving, we've all hopefully been reminded of Native Americans' vital role in history. But the role of Native Americans in today's society? That's a topic that is far too often overlooked.

Beginning on November 21, the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass., is shining a light on modern Native design with Native Fashion Now, the first large-scale exhibition of contemporary Native American fashion. Through nearly 100 garments and accessories by more than 70 indigenous designers, the exhibit will reveal how Native artists are breaking boundaries with designs that go far beyond expectations of buckskin, feathers and fringe.

The exhibition is organized by Karen Kramer, who oversees PEM's collection of Native American art, the oldest and most comprehensive collection in the Western hemisphere. She has spent the last couple of years seeking out the next wave of Native American designers, and her show and accompanying catalogue are the first to synthesize what has been happening creatively, conceptually and culturally from the 1950s through the present day.

Native Fashion Now
Native Fashion Now
Native Fashion Now
 Native Fashion Now
Native Fashion Now

You can catch the exhibit at PEM through March 6, 2016. But out-of-towners need not worry: the exhibit will be touring the Portland Art Museum in Portland, Oregon; the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma; and the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian in New York through 2017.

Photos (top to bottom):
  • Alano Edzerza (Tahltan). Chilkat tunic, 2013. Cotton. Peabody Essex Museum. Gift of Karen Kramer. Photography by Thosh Collins.
  • Jamie Okuma (Luiseño/Shoshone-Bannock). Boots, 2013-14. Glass beads on boots designed by Christian Louboutin. Museum commission with support from Katrina Carye, John Coruby, Dan Elias and Karen Keane, Cynthia Gardner, Merry Glosband, and Steve and Ellen Hoffman. © Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Walter Silver.
  • Pat Pruitt (Laguna Pueblo). Tahitian Bondage necklace, 2008. 315L stainless steel and natural Tahitian pearls. Courtesy Catherine Sullivan-Kropa and William Kropa. © 2015 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Walter Silver.
  • Pat Pruitt (Laguna Pueblo) and Chris Pruitt (Laguna Pueblo/Chiricahua Apache). Belt buckle, 2012. Stainless steel, silver,  Teflon, turquoise, and coral. Peabody Essex Museum. Museum purchase with funds donated by Robert N. Shapiro, 2012. © Silver.
  • David Gaussoin and Wayne Nez Gaussoin (Diné [Navajo]/Picuris Pueblo). Postmodern Boa, 2009. Stainless steel, sterling silver, enamel paint, and feathers. Courtesy of the designers and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. Model: Tazbah Gaussion.
  • Orlando Dugi (Diné [Navajo]). Cape and dress from “Desert Heat” Collection, 2012. Paint, silk, organza, feathers, beads, and 24k gold; feathers. Courtesy of the designer, Sante Fe. Hair and makeup: Dina DeVore. Model: Mona Bear. Photo by Nate Francis.
  • Jared Yazzie (Diné [Navajo]) for OxDx. Native Americans Discovered Columbus T-shirt, 2012. Cotton. Peabody Essex Museum. Gift of Karen Kramer, 2015. Photography by Thosh Collins.


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