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January 01, 2006

The Burke Museum Announces 2006 Exhibits

SeattleThe Burke Museum announces the 2006 season of exhibits featuring New Zealand’s Maori weaving and a prestigious wildlife photograph show from London.

Toi Maori: The Eternal Thread
Feb. 4 – May 29, 2006
The Burke Museum is one of only four venues in the United States presenting Toi Maori: The Eternal Thread, an exhibition celebrating Maori weaving. The exhibit highlights how the art form has developed, reasserted, and reinvented itself in recent years–from the finest traditional Maori kakahu (cloaks), kete (finely woven baskets), and whariki (floor mats), to outstanding contemporary pieces. Distinct from the better-known Maori arts of carving and ta moko (tattoo art), weaving is exclusively a women’s art.

The Eternal Thread includes work from more than 40 Maori women artists from New Zealand who use their masterful weaving techniques to create beautiful and intricate objects.Loaned by the weavers themselves, the exhibit features nearly 100 pieces, ranging from magnificent feather and flax cloaks, to finely woven baskets and outstanding pieces of contemporary fiber arts–woven from unusual materials such as emu bird feathers, copper, paper, and abalone shells.

Northwest Coast Robes
Feb. 4 – May 29, 2006
As a complement to The Eternal Thread, the Burke will exhibit a small selection of exquisite robes from its internationally renowned Northwest Coast art collection.The intricately woven robes highlight the longstanding sense of kinship between the Native peoples of New Zealand and the Pacific Northwest and illustrate the parallels in their weaving traditions. Examples include a Chilkat Apron by William White, Tsimshian, and a Ravens Tail Robe by Marie Oldfields, Haida, highlighting the fusion of ancient tradition with contemporary weaving practices and patterns.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year
June 24 – Sept. 4, 2006
The Natural History Museum in London annually awards the prestigious title of Wildlife Photographer of the Year to an amateur or professional whose photograph best portrays nature. The competition’s aim is to showcase the very best photographic images of nature to a worldwide audience, showing the splendor, drama and variety of life on Earth and inspiring people to care for its future.

At the same time, the exhibit aims to show the artistry involved in wildlife photography and encourage a new generation of photographers to produce visionary and expressive interpretations of nature.The annual competition has inspired the exhibit. To most wildlife photographers, expressively capturing the beauty of the wild is as much the goal as raising awareness of the importance of caring for the environment.

A Celebration of Souls: Day of the Dead in Southern Mexico
Oct. 1, 2006 – Jan. 1, 2007
Every year on November first and second, families across Mexico gather to celebrate Day of the Dead.People decorate burial plots and alters in honor of the deceased, hold family reunions, and prepare special foods for the departed as well as the living.This colorful bilingual exhibition examines the complex and rich histories of honoring the dead in ancient Mesoamerica, the labor of love involved in these diverse rituals, and the spiritual importance of this holiday in rural Mexico today.

Featuring 29 exquisite color photographs by four photographers, this exhibition focuses on the lives of villagers as they prepare centuries-old recipes, scatter marigolds to guide the dead home, and celebrate this annual event.Photographs depict candlelit home altar, public processions, rich offerings of chocolate and pan de muerto (bread of the dead), and community gatherings in village cemeteries.

The Burke Museum collaborates with the Hispanic community to create this exhibit honoring this rich annual event with photographs, artifacts, and altars.

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