Separating Native American Art from “American Art” in Museums: Part of Our Tangled History

Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) curators and Native American artists are wrestling with some powerful questions:

  • Why are American art and Native American art separated in museums and not taught together?
  • How would their entangled history and legacy be better understood if placed side by side?
  • What challenges or cultural issues provide arguments for keeping them distinct?
  • What can museum curators do to best showcase Native American Art in their institutions?

These questions have sparked a collaborative presentation on “Native American Art as American Art,” Thursday, Feb. 8, starting at 6:30 p.m. at Mia, 2400 3rd Avenue S. Minneapolis. ($10 fee, $5 for Mia members and free for Native American community members.)

Panelists are:

  • Film Director G. Peter Jemison, who represents the Seneca Nation of Indians on repatriation issues. He was the founding director of the American Indian Community House Gallery in New York City.
  • Kathleen Ash-Milby, a member of the Navajo Nation, and Associate Curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in New York.
  • Robert Cozzolino, the Patrick and Aimee Butler Curator of Paintings at Mia.
  • Jill Ahlberg Yohe, Associate Curator of Native American Art at Mia.

Members of Native American communities register by calling 612-870-3286, or email with your name.

Others register by calling 612-870-6323 or online at