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Temporary Exhibits

Conversing with the Land: Native North American Baskets of the Maxwell Museum Collection

End Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2024

This exhibition celebrates Native North American basketry traditions as seen through the collections in the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology. On display are finished objects: works of artistry, complexity, beauty, and use. Behind each basket is a deeper story. Their stories connect us to the lands on which they were made and to the materials from which they were constructed, embedded with profound seasonal knowledges and long-standing commitments to nurture and protecting the land for future generations.
Baskets hold stories of techniques passed within communities over generations, and of skills honed through years of practice. We do not hear the conversations, prayers, laughter, and songs shared among basket makers and users, but they are also present in these objects. And each also tells of use and needs: to store, to carry, to gift, to celebrate, to mourn, to sell, to repair; and to purchase, collect, and display. The lessons of these baskets and their makers are not solely of the past. They are also of the present and future. They are stories of survivance, persistence, pride, creativity, and of the ongoing work to protect the land and maintain knowledge in times of environmental and social upheavals. In this exhibition, we share some of these stories with you.

Find the labels for all of the baskets in the exhibition here.

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We Were Basket Makers Before We Were Pueblo People

End Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2024

In July 2022, a group of distinguished Pueblo artists and knowledge holders came to the Maxwell Museum to view a selection of Pueblo baskets from the museum’s collections. This group was composed of Louie García (Tiwa/Piro Pueblo), Christopher Lewis (Zuni), Jilli M. Oyenque (Ohkay Owingeh), Paul Tosa (Jemez Pueblo), Madeline Tosa (Jemez Pueblo), and Brian Vallo (Acoma Pueblo). Accompanying them was anthropologist and UNM alumnus, Dr. Bruce Bernstein.

The group generously shared knowledge about the varied techniques, uses, and meanings embedded within these baskets, and together, with museum staff and guest co-curator Dr. Bernstein, they agreed to co-curate an exhibition presenting these rarely seen objects to the public. The result is "We Were Basket Makers Before We Were Pueblo People: Pueblo Baskets in Context" which is housed in the Alfonso Ortiz Center Gathering Space of the Museum.

Like the fibers that make up these intricate baskets themselves, the voices of the co-curators are independent powerful strands of understanding that come together to offer us a greater appreciation of the artwork and its signficance. Come see the exhibit which will be on display through January 2024, in conjuction with our other temporary exhibit on baskets, "Conversing with the Land: Native North American Baskets of the Maxwell Museum Collections."

This exhibit is in part sponsored by the Alfonso Ortiz Center for Intercultural Studies.



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