Public perceptions of native Americans have long been shaped by 19th-century artists and writers. Even today, Indians are portrayed as two-dimensional figures. Now a traveling art show presents a broader perspective.
"Powerful Images: Portrayals of Native America" was put together by Museums West, a consortium of 10 museums that showcase the art, history, and cultures of the West. The exhibit features images and objects that explore the changing roles of indigenous people. Stereotypes are examined by native and nonnative artists. Underlying themes include Euro-American portrayals of native Americans, native fine art and traditional art forms, native history, and popular culture. Also included is a section on how native Americans have represented themselves.
The show opens tomorrow at the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis, and runs until Jan. 3, 1999. Then it travels to the Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles.