Drawn from works given and bequeathed to the Metropolitan during the past decade by Ralph T. Coe of Santa Fe, New Mexico, the exhibition is comprised of some 30 objects made of natural materials from stone to animal hide. It features a wide range of Native American works that come from different times, different places, and numerous distinct peoples.
The oldest pieces in the Coe Collection date to some thousands of years B.C.E. The major part of the collection dates back to the 19th-century, a period of great contact between Native Americans and outsiders of all sorts-from traders to missionaries to the U.S. army. The peoples of the Great Plains are prominent during this time, and objects such as personalized hide shirts of Indian men have come to identify American Indians in the public mind. Representing contemporary work, an imposing sculpture of a noble woman by Haida artist Robert Davidson will be on view-the product of a long, deeply felt tradition for the carving of wood.
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Exhibition tours on December 20, January 12 and February 15. Free with museum admission.