Indian Museum New York
The National Museum of the American Indian’s George Gustav Heye Center in New York celebrates its 20th anniversary with the opening of “Glittering World: Navajo Jewelry of the Yazzie Family” Thursday, Nov. 13, located in the historic Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House in Lower Manhattan.
Glittering World” is the museum’s first exhibition to explore the intersection of art and commerce through Navajo jewelry making and features more than 300 examples of contemporary jewelry made by members of the Yazzie family of Gallup, N.M. The exhibition shows how the family’s art flows from their Southwest environs and strong connection to their Navajo culture. With pieces from the museum’s collection, the exhibition places Navajo jewelry making within its historical context of art and commerce, illustrates its development as a form of cultural expression and explores the meanings behind its symbolism. A series of public and educational programs will complement the exhibition’s themes and add new meaning to common knowledge about Native jewelry and the traditions and economic impact surrounding it.
“This exhibition tells a story of both the artisans and the craftsmanship, exploring the natural materials, cultural influences and surroundings that inspire the Yazzie family, ” said Kevin Gover (Pawnee), director of the National Museum of the American Indian. “But ‘Glittering World’ does not stop there. The exhibition goes beyond Native art to tell the story of the interplay between Navajo culture and commerce, which is in keeping with the museum’s mission to evolve the way visitors see and experience the long saga and continuing life of Native peoples.”
The Yazzie family is one of the most celebrated jewelry-making families in the Native art world. The silver, gold and stone inlay work of Yazzie brothers Lee and Raymond, which is featured throughout the exhibition, has won every major award for artisanship. Mary Marie Yazzie, whose work is also featured, has dedicated much of her craft to fine bead- and stonework.
“Glittering World” has been in development for more than two years and is guest curated by Lois Sherr Dubin, assisted by Kathleen Ash-Milby (Navajo), associate curator.
“I’m honored to tell the story of Navajo jewelry through the lens of the gifted Yazzie family and so pleased to do so in partnership with the National Museum of the American Indian, ” said Dubin. “These one-of-a-kind pieces, which provide critical economic support for Navajo families like the Yazzies, are a testament to American Indian craftsmanship, and this museum is the perfect place to showcase the work.”
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Museums in New York City include Ellis Island Museum, Carnegie Hall/Rose Museum, American Museum of Natural History, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City Fire Museum, New York City Police Museum, National Museum of the American Indian, Museum of the City of New York. Would you like specific information for any of the museums listed? again!