Native America and the Early Tourist Market
What should be considered art, and how do we define terms like fine art, decorative art, craft, and utilitarian? This collection spotlight, curated by Mount Holyoke College history major Allyson LaForge ’16 examines 19th- and early 20th-century objects made by Ojibwe, Haida, and Apsáalooke (Crow) craftspeople to discuss a category of material culture often described as tourist items or souvenirs. Though created for the market, these items represent the hybridity of traditional Native American art forms and the external influences of the tourist economy. By embracing the American economy, Native communities became active participants rather than passive actors.
Curated by Allyson LaForge ’16