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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

The Early Years of Native American Art History

The Politics of Scholarship and Collecting

This collection of essays deals with the development of Native American art history as a discipline rather than with particular art works or artists. It focuses on the early anthropologists, museum curators, dealers, and collectors, and on the multiple levels of understanding and misunderstanding, appropriation and reappropriation which characterized their transactions. The essays examine major figures, art forms, institutions, and events of the early years when Native American artworks were first collected, studied, and displayed.

256 pages

Table of Contents


1. Introduction: The Formative Years of Native American Art History

2. Franz Boas, John Swanton, and the New Haida Sculpture at the American Museum of Natural History

3. New Questions for 'Old Things': The Brooklyn Museum's Zuni Collection

4. Louisa Keyser and the Cohns: Mythmaking and Basket Making in the American West

5. 'The Artist Himself': The Salish Basketry Monograph and the Beginnings of a Boasian Paradigm

6. Lila Morris O'Neale: Ethnoaesthetics and the Yurok-Karok Basket Weavers of Northwestern California

7. Marketing the Affinity of the Primitive and the Modern: Rene d'Harnoncourt and 'Indian Art of the United States' Contributors


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