at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts
The Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art
The Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York, is widely recognized as one of the world’s most significant collections of its kind. The Thaws began to collect Native American works of art in 1987 after they established residence in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Thaw, a distinguished art dealer, and his wife, lifelong art connoisseurs, have amassed major collections in widely diverse fields, and enriched many museums and cultural institutions through their gifts and support.
About the Exhibition
This exhibition consists of 110 of the most outstanding works of art drawn from the Thaw Collection of North American Indian art.
The exhibition reveals the extraordinary range of art produced by Native American cultures. While the works of art are enormously diversified in type, style, and use of materials, they demonstrate a consistent appreciation of the power of the natural world in human affairs and the universal appeal of beautifully realized works of art.
This is also an exhibition about connoisseurship as revealed through the unrivaled eye of one of the foremost and far-ranging art collectors and dealers of our time. The Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of North American Indian art comprises more than 800 masterpieces of Native American art from across North America and spanning more than 2,000 years.
Eugene Thaw has selected the works in the collection on the basis of their visual impact, superb artistry, and exceptional aesthetic qualities. The collection reveals, in Thaw's words, that "Indian material culture stands rightfully with ancient art, with masterpieces of Asia and Europe, as their equivalent."
Download (.pdf) classroom curriculum and high quality images from the Fenimore Art Museum and the MIA's permanent collection.
This exhibition is organized by the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y., and made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts as part of “American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius.”
Generous support for this exhibition is provided by Bob and Carolyn Nelson and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.