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Indian Arts Research Center Speaker Series

2022 Speaker Series

In the wake of Manifest Destiny and a global pandemic, a group of Santa Fe creatives came together in 1922 to found the Pueblo Pottery Fund. Enmeshed in assimilationist policies and salvage ethnography, their misguided attempt to save what they saw as the loss of Pueblo culture was born of false assumptions and misinformation; nonetheless, their efforts set the stage for what would eventually become the Indian Arts Research Center (IARC) collection. One hundred years and another global pandemic later, 2022 marks the centennial of the IARC collection. Numbering over twelve thousand items of Native Southwest art and history, the collection is central to the IARC’s mission to bridge the divide between Indigenous-centered creativity and scholarship.

In the years since the IARC collection’s founding, much has changed in the ways museums work with collections and the communities from which those collections come. Today, many realize the need to adapt their practices to better serve and reflect source communities, as well as those that surround the museum. However, there is still much more work to be done. This series seeks to explore the role of collections, then and now, and the responsibility and accountability of collecting institutions to the communities they serve. Speakers will discuss museum practices, community collaboration, and the future of collections in the twenty-first century.

All discussions will be hosted online from 2:00pm – 3:30pm (MDT). These events are FREE, but advanced registration is required. Click on individual events to register to receive the event link.  

San Felipe students at IARC

San Felipe Pueblo Elementary School students visit the Indian Arts Research Center in May 2013. Photo courtesy of Ansulala.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

The Indian Arts Research Center: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

With keynote speakers Cynthia Chavez Lamar (San Felipe Pueblo), Brian Vallo (Acoma Pueblo), and Elysia Poon

The roles of collecting institutions continue to evolve in response to the needs of the communities they serve. Museums are increasingly looking back on past practices through a critical lens in order to move forward with a more considered approach to cultural stewardship. This keynote roundtable brings together two former IARC directors, Cynthia Chavez Lamar and Brian Vallo, and current director Elysia Poon for a deep dive into the past, present, and future of the Indian Arts Research Center.

Watch this program on YouTube

Larger than Memory Heard Museum

Zuni Collections Review, 2009. Photo courtesy of the IARC.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Considerations for Indigenous Collections Care

With Laura Bryant, Sylvanus Paul (Diné), Marla Taylor, and Laura Elliff Cruz

Indigenous collections care is a respectful and collaborative practice that prioritizes Indigenous knowledge and intentions as they pertain to objects of cultural heritage. Join our esteemed panelists for a presentation and discussion of the guidelines in progress that outline the importance of a mindful practice; considerations for Indigenous collections care; and next steps for collecting institutions around the country.

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Students visit the Black History 101 Mobile Museum traveling exhibit. Photo courtesy of Black History 101 Mobile Museum.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Engaging Community through Museum Collections

With Dr. Khalid el-Hakim, Jessica Rubenacker, Lynda Romero (Pojoaque Pueblo) and Jennifer Himmelreich (Diné)

As we reflect on the history and purpose of museums with a critical eye, it is also important to reexamine the various roles and uses of cultural collections. How are museum collections being used? By whom? And to what end? Join panelists from across the country as they discuss the ways in which they use collections to engage with the communities they serve.

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Patricia Norby_Headshot

Terrance Leno (left) and Wesley Vigil (right) participate in the Tesuque Collections Review, 2020. Photo courtesy of the IARC. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2022  

Community Collaboration in Practice: Collections Reviews at the Indian Arts Research Center

With Mark Mitchell (Tesuque Pueblo), Octavius Seowtewa (Zuni Pueblo), Stephanie Riley (Acoma Pueblo), and Jennifer Day 

Since 2008, the IARC has worked in collaboration with representatives from Pueblo communities in an effort to review every piece in the IARC collection. These collection reviews recognize community knowledge as a primary source of information and ensure that collection items are represented as accurately as possible and in an appropriate manner. Join previous participants and facilitators as they discuss the collection review process and the benefits of true collaboration.

Watch this program on YouTube