Barnes Exhibition Displays Art Discussed in TIP Seminar February 26, 2022 – Posted in: Uncategorized

The Barnes Foundation exhibition Water, Wind, Breath: Southwest Native Art in Community, co-curated by TIP seminar leader Lucy Fowler Williams, is showcasing the work of Southwest Native Americans covered in her fall 2021 TIP seminar Southwest Native American Art and Culture. Fowler Williams is Associate Curator and Jeremy A. Sabloff Senior Keeper of American Collections at the Penn Museum. She organized the exhibition with Tony Chavarria, Curator of Ethnology at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Santa Fe, and a member of the Santa Clara Pueblo.

The Barnes exhibition features objects created by members of the Navajo and Pueblo Nations from antiquity through the present. Many of the objects were collected by Albert and Laura Barnes during trips they took to the Southwest, 1929-1931. Their visits showed them how these textiles, ceramics, and jewelry were incorporated into Native Americans’ daily lives and rituals, and how they reflected Native American culture and world views. Also on exhibit are several objects from the Penn Museum’s collection.

Part of TIP’s fall 2021 Curriculum Lab, the seminar Southwest Native American Art and Culture introduced teachers to “Indigenous perspectives, practices, lifestyles, and values” through the objects. It gave the teachers a broad historical perspective and showed examples of Native American resistance to colonization and reclamation of sovereignty. Dr. Fowler Williams was assisted in leading the seminar by Sháńdíín Brown, a Diné (Navajo) member and the Henry Luce Curatorial Fellow for Native American Art at the Rhode Island School of Design.

The 10 teachers who completed the seminar wrote curriculum units which connect the topic to a variety of disciplines and are geared toward many grade levels. The units are published on TIP’s website and are available for use by teachers everywhere.