America is enriched with a diverse and remarkable history of culture. It is a country of many traditions and beliefs coming together. This summer Amon Carter Museum of American Art honors the indigenous people of this country in the first-ever traveling exhibition of American Indian art curated from the Diker Collection.
Indigenous Beauty showcases stunning acquisitions of Indian art, culture and heritage from seven different regions of North America. This comprehensive collection emphasizes the importance of Native American art and its influence on the later generations of artists in and around this country.
Charles and Valerie Diker began building this unique legacy in 1972 after a trip to Santa Fe. Now, 43 years and several trips around the region later, it is here in Fort Worth. The couple said that this collection has been such an important part of their lives together. They searched and tracked to find rare pieces in good quality and most importantly chose objects with their eyes and hearts. They hope to educate people with this collection by emphasizing the sophistication and spirituality instilled in each of the 120 masterworks.
The exhibition is arranged in 11 sections, each grouped according to its geographic and cultural influences. Within this collection, one can find a variety of items including masks, basketry, moccasins, pictographic arts, pottery, knives, sculptures and traditional clothing representing tribes from across the continent made from unusual items such as walrus ivory, buffalo hide, vegetal fiber and bear hair.
As viewers make their way through each section, they experience the past of American art long before European immigration. The continental location of each section is displayed on a map. Viewers can tell not only by the map which location the pieces are from, but from the materials used and the characteristics found in each object. Viewers can get a feel of life at that given time and location due to how in sync Native Americans were with the land around them. Their spirituality and creativity shine through their work, differentiating them from the more contemporary pieces in the collection.
Indigenous Beauty: Masterworks of American Indian Art from the Diker Collection is on exhibit at Amon Carter Museum of American Art from July 7 – Sept. 13.