Infinity of Nations: Art and History in the Collections of the National Museum of the American Indian

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9780061547317: Infinity of Nations: Art and History in the Collections of the National Museum of the American Indian

This gorgeous, fully illustrated book is the official companion to “Infinity of Nations,” the National Museum of the American Indian’s most ambitious and comprehensive exhibit to date. An ongoing exhibit from October 2010 to 2020 at the Heye Center in New York City, “Infinity of Nations” provides an unparalleled overview of the museum’s archaeological, ethnographic, and contemporary art collections.

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From the Back Cover:

The National Museum of the American Indian is one of the world's great conservators of cultural heritage, and its collections hold more than 800,000 objects spanning 13,000 years of history of the Native peoples of the Western Hemisphere, from Tierra del Fuego in the south to the Arctic in the north. Drawing on new insights from archaeology, history, and art history, Infinity of Nations uses culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant objects as a point of entry to understanding the people who created them.

Following an introduction on the power of objects to engage our imagination, each chapter presents an overview of a region of the Americas and its cultural complexities, written by a noted specialist on that region. Community knowledge-keepers and an impressive new generation of Native scholars contribute highlights on objects that represent important ideas or that capture moments of social change. Together these writers create an extraordinary mosaic. What emerges is a portrait of a complex and dynamic world shaped from its earliest history by contact and exchange among peoples.

Illustrated with more than 200 strikingly beautiful photographs published here for the first time, Infinity of Nations opens new avenues that extend well beyond those of conventional cultural studies. Authoritative and accessible, here is an important resource for anyone interested in learning about Native cultures of the Americas.

About the Author:

The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian is dedicated to working in collaboration with the indigenous peoples of the Americas to foster and protect Native cultures throughout the Western Hemisphere. The museum's publishing program seeks to augment awareness of Native American beliefs and ways of life and to educate the public about the history and significance of Native cultures.

CÚcile R. Ganteaume, associate curator, joined the National Museum of the American Indian when it was established as part of the Smithsonian. Previously she was on the curatorial staff of the museum's forerunner institution, the Museum of the American Indian-Heye Foundation, in New York. Her essays have appeared in many publications, including Native American Dance: Ceremonies and Social Traditions, Creation's Journey: Native American Identity and Belief, and American Indian Art Magazine. Her research interests center on American Indian material culture, tribal histories, and Apache cultural studies.

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