The Indian Arts Research Center

Nancy Mithlo, IARC Speaker SeriesNancy Mithlo, IARC Speaker SeriesIn November, Nancy Mithlo presented “Within and Outside: The American Indian Presence at the Venice Biennale, 1999–2009,” for the new IARC speaker series.
Nancy Mithlo, IARC Speaker Series
Kendall Tallmadge, Native InternKendall Tallmadge, Native Intern2009–2010 Harvey W. Branigar, Jr. Native Intern
Kendall Tallmadge, Native Intern
Zuni Pottery (3-D)Zuni Pottery (3-D)Zuni pottery from the IARC collection prepared for a collections review by representatives from Zuni Pueblo. Request a free pair of 3-D glasses.Zuni Pottery (3-D)Zuni pottery from the IARC collection prepared for a collections review by representatives from Zuni Pueblo. Request a free pair of 3-D glasses.

At the core of the Indian Arts Research Center is one of the world’s most significant collections of Southwestern American Indian arts, spanning the 450 years from Spanish contact to the present. IARC’s goal is to bridge the divide between creativity and scholarship by supporting initiatives and projects in Native studies, art history, and creative expression that illuminate the intersections of the social sciences, humanities, and arts. We accomplish this by providing fellowship opportunities for artists to engage in uninterrupted creativity; by fostering dialogue among artists, researchers, scholars, and community members through seminars and symposiums; by nurturing future arts and museum professionals through experiential training; and by promoting study and exploration of the IARC collection.

This year IARC inaugurated a Speaker Series, recording each lecture and posting it on the SAR website. Furthering SAR’s presence on the Internet, IARC posted its own Facebook page to connect with a broader audience, including a growing network of former artist fellows. Two IARC interns curated online exhibitions on the SAR website’s resource page.

Collaborating with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and the Institute of American Indian Arts, IARC hosted a seminar and a public panel discussion on the intersections of differing approaches to indigeneity, which brought together an international group of scholars and artists.

Complementing its regular Friday collection tours, available year-round with advance reservations, IARC added three new tours for students in grades 6 through 12 this year. Developed by IARC interns, each tour is theme-based and hands-on, covering subjects such as trade and adaptation, agriculture and sustenance, and the history of collecting.

Of particular note this year was a continued comprehensive review of Zuni collection items, conducted with Zuni tribal representatives. Its goals were to identify objects of cultural sensitivity; establish guidelines for handling, storage, and access; correct inaccuracies in the records; and create a strong partnership between IARC and the Zuni Tribe.

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