Detailed information on the exhibits, research projects, and programs tailored for journalists. For more information or questions please contact Burke Museum Public Relations.
February 01, 2003
Seattle -- The arts come alive this February at the Burke Museum, with demonstrating artists, a basketry workshop, compelling lectures on Native American art, and a guided tour of the special exhibition, Out of the Silence: The Enduring Power of Totem Poles.Emerging Artist Series
Come watch young carvers as well as established artists create totems, masks, boxes and more. This is a great opportunity to watch and interact with notable Northwest Coast carvers and fresh new talents as they work on commissioned pieces right in the Out of the Silence gallery. Demonstrations are included with exhibit admission.
Lecture Series: Contemporary Issues in Northwest Coast Native American Art
Traditionally, the most important moment in the life of a totem pole is the time of its raising and the accompanying potlatch, which proclaim the status and identity of the owners. Poles were then allowed to age naturally in place, and new ones were constantly raised as the old ones decayed. Since the late 19th century, many poles have been removed from their villages -- sometimes sold by their owners and sometimes stolen -- and taken to museums around the world. At the same time, new poles were no longer being carved for a variety of reasons, among them, a Canadian law making potlatching illegal. Since the anti-potlatch law was dropped, many new poles are being raised, and repatriation is now returning some of the poles to tribes. Native communities are regaining control over their cultural properties, which is creating new challenges and new relationships between tribes and museums. This session will present case studies examining some of the issues involved, including 1) the recent repatriation of eight Tlingit poles taken by the Harriman expedition in 1899 and returned to their tribal owners in Cape Fox, Alaska, last year; 2) the repatriation of poles to Haida Gwaii; and 3) the management of the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve in BC.
The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 is described by the Department of the Interior, which administers it, as "essentially a truth-in-advertising law designed to prevent marketing products as 'Indian made' when the products are not, in fact, made by Indians as defined by the Act." While the law does address an ongoing concern of Indian communities in the U.S. and Canada, it is also another federal law that defines who is and who is not Indian without reference to a definition developed by Native organizations. It has required both artists and gallery owners to consider ethnicity in ways they have not before. Their views, and those of legal and academic experts, will be presented by this panel as it addresses the "Indianness" of Indian art from a variety of perspectives.
With more than two decades of experience in developing and transforming major museums, Dr. George MacDonald is internationally recognized as a visionary leader in the museum profession. Dr. MacDonald began his academic research career here in the Pacific Northwest, with archaeological studies of Native village sites in British Columbia and Alaska and in years of working with Indian elders and artists to understand, interpret, and display their work. Through a distinguished series of exhibitions and educational programs, he developed "a strong interest in seeing exhibits in museums that effectively change the public image of indigenous peoples." In this presentation, he will briefly review the historical relationship of museums and Northwest Coast Native peoples and project a role for that relationship in the future.
Delores Churchill weaves traditional Tlingit and Tsimshian baskets in the ways she learned from her mother and grandmother. Following in the footsteps of her mother, Delores' teachings have spawned a whole community of weavers in Southeast Alaska. She spends much of her time passing on the traditional weaving techniques to emerging weavers, and researching historical southeast Alaskan baskets and Chilkat style weavings. Don't miss this opportunity to learn from the celebrated Delores Churchill, Haida culture bearer. Participants come three days, for a total of 13 hours. Call for schedule: 206-543-9681.
Burke director and exhibit co-curator Dr. George MacDonald will lead a tour of the highlights of the landmark exhibition, Out of the Silence: The Enduring Power of Totem Poles. Later in the evening, graduate student in Art History, Katie Bunn-Marcuse will speak about the Burke Room exhibit of Northwest Coast silkscreen prints. These prints are part of the Burke's Blackman-Hall Collection, one of the finest print collections in the world. Special thanks to the Native Arts of the Amer
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The Burke is located at the corner of NE 45th St and 17th Ave NE on the UW campus. Hours are 10 am - 5 pm daily, and until 8 pm Thursday. The Museum Store and Museum Caf?are also open during these hours. Admission to the permanent exhibits is $6.50 general, $5 senior, $3 student/youth, FREE to Burke members, children 5 and under, UW faculty, students, and staff. Admission to the special exhibition Out of the Silence is $8 general, $6.50 senior, $5 student/youth.. Out of the Silence is FREE to Burke members, children 5 and under, UW faculty, students, and staff. For 24-hour information, please call 206-543-5590, or visit www.burkemuseum.org
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(206) 543-9762; FAX (206) 616-1274