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While American Jews are commonly considered a homogenous ethnic group, the reality today is far more complex. Conversion, adoption, intermarriage, and immigration have transformed the fabric of Jewish communities, as they have the United States as a nation. This fascinating book explores questions of American Jewish identity and how Jews fit today into larger discourses of race, ethnicity, and religion. Featuring ten photographic and video projects by emerging and mid-career artists, all commissioned by The Jewish Museum, the book presents a range of provocative discussions of the nature of Jewish identity in 21st-century America. Susan Chevlowe discusses how the artists explore individual communities to dispel stereotypes of contemporary Jewish life, and Ilan Stavans dissects the diversity of American Jews over the last century. In illuminating interviews with the artists, Joanna Lindenbaum provides insights into their ideas and methods. A beautifully illustrated portfolio of each of the commissioned works immerses the viewer in a distinctive community, revealing complex and often surprising ways in which Jewish Americans grapple with their identity. Participating artists: * Dawoud Bey * Tirtza Even and Brian Karl * Rainer Ganahl * Nikki S. Lee * Yoshua Okon * Jaime Permuth * Andrea Robbins and Max Becher * Shari Rothfarb and Avishai Mekonen * Jessica Shokrian * Chris Verene
Winner, Society for American Archaeology Book Award, 2017 San Antonio Conservation Society Publication Award, 2019 The prehistoric hunter-gatherers of the Lower Pecos Canyonlands of Texas and Coahuila, Mexico, created some of the most spectacularly complex, colorful, extensive, and enduring rock art of the ancient world. Perhaps the greatest of these masterpieces is the White Shaman mural, an intricate painting that spans some twenty-six feet in length and thirteen feet in height on the wall of a shallow cave overlooking the Pecos River. In The White Shaman Mural, Carolyn E. Boyd takes us on a journey of discovery as she builds a convincing case that the mural tells a story of the birth of the sun and the beginning of time-making it possibly the oldest pictorial creation narrative in North America. Unlike previous scholars who have viewed Pecos rock art as random and indecipherable, Boyd demonstrates that the White Shaman mural was intentionally composed as a visual narrative, using a graphic vocabulary of images to communicate multiple levels of meaning and function. Drawing on twenty-five years of archaeological research and analysis, as well as insights from ethnohistory and art history, Boyd identifies patterns in the imagery that equate, in stunning detail, to the mythologies of Uto-Aztecan-speaking peoples, including the ancient Aztec and the present-day Huichol. This paradigm-shifting identification of core Mesoamerican beliefs in the Pecos rock art reveals that a shared ideological universe was already firmly established among foragers living in the Lower Pecos region as long as four thousand years ago.
The so-called Djenne statuary emerged circa A.D. 700 and
flourished until 1750. The terracotta statues were manufactured by
various groups inhabiting the Inland Niger Delta region of
present-day Mali, centered around the ancient urban center of
Djenne-Jeno. These terracotta sculptures, more than 300 of which
are published in this book for the first time, express a remarkable
range of physical conditions and human emotions, providing the
largest corpus of ancient sacred gestures of any civilization in
Houghton Library and Harvard's Peabody Museum Press collaborated on the publication of this fourth volume in the Houghton Library Studies series, an innovative cultural analysis of the extraordinary composite document known as "The Pictographic Autobiography of Half Moon, an Unkpapa Sioux Chief." At its core is a nineteenth-century ledger book of drawings by Lakota Sioux warriors found in 1876 in a funerary tipi on the Little Bighorn battlefield after Custer's defeat. Journalist Phocion Howard later added an illustrated introduction and had it bound into the beautiful manuscript that is reproduced in complete color facsimile here. Howard attributed all seventy-seven Native drawings to a "chief" named Half Moon, but anthropologist Castle McLaughlin demonstrates that these dramatic scenes, mostly of war exploits, were drawn by at least six different warrior-artists. Their vivid first-person depictions make up a rare Native American record of historic events that likely occurred between 1866 and 1868 during Red Cloud's War along the Bozeman Trail. McLaughlin probes the complex life history of this unique artifact of cross-cultural engagement, uncovering its origins, ownership, and cultural and historic significance, and compares it with other early ledger books. Examining how allied Lakota and Cheyenne warriors valued these graphic records of warfare as both objects and images, she introduces the concept of "war books"--documents that were captured and altered by Native warrior-artists to appropriate the strategic power of Euroamerican literacy.
As the international art market globalizes the indigenous image, it changes its identity, status, value, and purpose in local and larger contexts. Focusing on a school of Australian Aboriginal painting that has become popular in the contemporary art world, Robyn Ferrell traces the influence of cultural exchanges on art, the self, and attitudes toward the other.
Aboriginal acrylic painting, produced by indigenous women artists of the Australian Desert, bears a superficial resemblance to abstract expressionism and is often read as such by viewers. Yet to see this art only through a Western lens is to miss its unique ontology, logics of sensation, and rich politics and religion. Ferrell explores the culture that produces these paintings and connects its aesthetic to the brutal environmental and economic realities of its people. From here, she travels to urban locales, observing museums and department stores as they traffic interchangeably in art and commodities.
Ferrell ties the history of these desert works to global acts of genocide and dispossession. Rethinking the value of the artistic image in the global market and different interpretations of the sacred, she considers photojournalism, ecotourism, and other sacred sites of the western subject, investigating the intersection of modern art and postmodern culture. She ultimately challenges the primacy of the "European gaze" and its fascination with sacred cultures, constructing a more balanced intercultural dialogue that deemphasizes the aesthetic of the real championed by western philosophy.
This catalogue presents around 200 artifacts from Irene and Peter Ludwig's collection of pre-Columbian art from the Americas. The works are organized thematically and ethnically, looking at pottery of the Mimbres culture; Mayan works in jade and the diversity of cultures in postclassic Western Mesoamerica (Toltecs, Aztecs, Mixtecs, Zapotecs and Tarascans); the development of early cultures in the Central Andes; ancient Peruvian erotic sculpture; metallurgy in the pre-Hispanic Andes; ritual drinking and libation; and many other topics and genres. A final section considers the appropriation of the pre-Columbian past throughout history and in the present. Also included are timelines of ancient American cultures. The Ludwig Collection today is part of the Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum in Cologne.
First published in 1973, this publication adds an important chapter to the body of work that brings Kachina art and scholarship together. The 237 Kachina paintings beautifully, descriptively rendered by Hopi artist Clifford Bahnimptewa (1938-1984), are part of the permanent collection of the Heard Museum (Pheonix). Born in the Hopi village of Old Oraibi on Third Mesa and a member of the Parrot Clan, Bahnimptewa learned to carve Katsina figures from his grandfather and his involvement in ceremonies helped the artist depict the figures in ceremonial motion. Noted Kachina and Pueblo culture scholar Barton Wright has organised the book around the Hopi ceremonial calendar, beginning with the Winter Solstice Katsinas that mark the start of the Hopi year. The Soyal ceremony marking the solstice presents the most important Katsina figures. It is followed by the Powanu series that anticipates the growing season. These are followed by ceremonies that initiate the young men and the initiation of children into the Katsina cult. Winter and early spring night dances are followed by plaza dances that bring rain and fertility and commemorate special events in the villages with strong components of entertainment. The Niman ceremony after the summer solstice closes the Katsina season when the Katsinas return to their mountain homes. All of the painting collection has been newly photographed to the highest digital standards.
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