Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Palm Springs Art Museum Opens New Exhibitions Edward S. Curtis: One Hundred Masterworks And Changing The Tone: Contemporary American Indian Photographers

Palm Springs Art Museum Opens New Exhibitions
Edward S. Curtis: One Hundred Masterworks
and Changing the Tone: Contemporary American Indian Photographers
  Edward S. Curtis, Bear's Belly - Arikara,
1908, photogravure, courtesy of the
 Christopher G. Cardozo Collection

Palm Springs Art Museum is pleased to present the extraordinary Edward S. Curtis: One Hundred Masterworks exhibition, featuring vintage photographs that represent an important historical documentary of the Indians of North America; andChanging the Tone: Contemporary American Indian Photographers, showcasing works by living artists of Native American heritage. The exhibitions are on view now through May 29, 2016.
Beginning in 1900, Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952) set out on a monumental quest to create an unprecedented, comprehensive record of the Indians of North America. The culmination of his 30-year project led to his magnum opus, “The North American Indian,” a twenty-volume, twenty-portfolio set of handmade books containing a selection of over 2,200 original photographs. Today One Hundred Masterworks stands as a landmark in the history of photography, book publishing, ethnography, and the history of the American West, producing an art historical record of enormous and irreplaceable importance.

One Hundred Masterworks presents an extraordinary selection of vintage photographs by Curtis that highlight both iconic and little known images that reveal the aesthetic, emotional, and spiritual qualities of his art. The exhibition showcases seven photographic print mediums including photogravure, platinum, goldtone (orotone), toned and un-toned gelatin silver, cyanotype, and gold-toned printing-out paper prints. Arranged by geographic region, the exhibition includes a selection of Curtis's most compelling and rare photographs that look beyond the documentary nature of his work to focus on his aesthetic and technical contributions to the art of photography. Accompanying the exhibition is a 184-page catalogue available for purchase at the Museum Store at Palm Springs Art Museum.

In conjunction with Edward S. Curtis: One Hundred Masterworks, the museum presents a special installation of photographs taken by Curtis on loan from the collections of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, along with a selection of Native American objects from Palm Springs Art Museum's permanent collection.

The exhibition Edward S. Curtis: One Hundred Masterworks has been organized by the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, Minneapolis/New York City/Paris/Lausanne, in collaboration with Palm Springs Art Museum. The Palm Springs showing is funded in part by the museum's Western Art Council and its Gold Sponsors Donna MacMillan and Harold Matzner, and Mary Ingebrand-Pohlad, along with support from Carol and Jim Egan, Terra Foundation for American Art through Board Member Gloria Scoby, Luc Bernard and Mark Prior, and the museum's Photography Collection Council. Exhibition Season Sponsors are Dorothy Meyerman and Marion and Bob Rosenthal. 

Changing the Tone: Contemporary American Indian Photographers features photographs and videos by artists of Native American heritage including Gerald Clarke, Will Wilson, Kent Monkman, Nicholas Galanin, Shelley Niro, and Lewis de Soto. In images that reflect on portraiture, cultural heritage, and their relationship to the land, these artists offer diverse perspectives on Native American identity as well as on critical issues around photography as a documentary medium, i.e., the extent to which it is fact, fiction, or some combination of both. These works provide a contemporary context for Curtis's historical photographs. Changing the Tone is organized by Palm Springs Art Museum with generous support from Roswitha Kima Smale and John Renner. 
Kent Monkman, The Emergence of a Legend:        
5 Photographs of Miss Chief Eagle Testickle 4,       
2006, chromogenic prints on metallic paper,                                         
courtesy of the artist © Kent Monk
Gerald Clarke, Motifs from the Series One Tract Mind,  2009
digital print on canvas, courtesy of the artist © Gerald Clarke 
In partnership with the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum’s 2016 Native FilmFest, Palm Springs Art Museum is also hosting a free screening of the award-winning film Coming to Light: Edward S. Curtis and the North American Indians. This special screening takes place in the museum’s Annenberg Theater on March 6, at 5 p.m., and will include a Q&A with the film’s director Anne Makepeace, as well as a reception and viewing of the exhibitions following the film. Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance. They will be available at the Annenberg Theater Box Office and Camelot Theatre on a first come, first served basis.

For additional information on the exhibitions, and for Box Office hours, please visit Palm Springs Art Museum is located at 101 Museum Drive in downtown Palm Springs and can be reached at (760) 322-4800.

About Palm Springs Art Museum
Palm Springs Art Museum is the largest cultural institution in the Coachella Valley and includes three locations in Palm Springs and Palm Desert. The flagship building is located in downtown Palm Springs and features compelling art exhibitions, a vast permanent collection, and the 433-seat Annenberg Theater, all in a 150,000 square foot, architecturally-significant building. Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center, Edwards Harris Pavilion, features exhibitions and programming that explore the rich topics of architecture and design. Admission to the A+D Center is free for the next two years thanks to an anonymous donor. Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert is an 8,400 square foot, Silver LEED-certified building named The Galen that presents rotating exhibitions and special collections. It is surrounded by the four-acre Faye Sarkowsky Sculpture Garden featuring important sculpture works. Admission to the Palm Desert location is free, generously underwritten by Helene V. Galen. For more information, call 760-322-4800, visit, and follow the museum on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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