Eiteljorg Musuem Blog

Exciting New Objects in the Native American Galleries

by James H. Nottage, Eiteljorg vice president and chief curatorial officer | Oct 03, 2014


Delicate pendants by Kevin Cranmer in the Northwest Coast section of the Native American galleries. (pictures 1 and 2)
 Change, as the saying goes, is inevitable at the Eiteljorg Museum. If you have not visited the Native American Galleries for a while, there are wonderful new acquisitions that you should see.  Changes themselves come about for two primary reasons. Some objects are taken off of exhibit so that they are not overexposed to damaging light. Some objects are placed on exhibit because they are new acquisitions that allow us to tell stories more effectively. Some changes are subtle while others are more dramatic.

            While it is not obvious, there are new prints and fiber art on exhibit in the gallery that explores the art of Alaskan and Inuit peoples. By contrast, the Northwest Coast section is featuring two splendid carved masks and a panel by  Kwakwaka’wakw artists  Ryan Cranmer and Richard Patterson along with a carved and painted panel by David Boxley, Tsimshian. One new case features seven beautiful carved and painting miniature pendants by Kevin Cranmer. The biggest changes are in the Southwest and California sections.  An open platform featuring California baskets has been replaced with a huge exhibit case with many examples of Apache and California baskets.  These splendid objects are from many different donors, but highlights are from the Mel and Joan Perelman, Helen Cox Kersting, and Brook and Margaret Berger collections. They range from miniatures to examples over three feet high. Finally, the open panel that features Navajo and Apache weavings and garments has been completely re-done to feature important historical and contemporary weavings from the Kersting Collection. A number of these have never been shown before and are now available for your enjoyment for the first time.
The rug on the left by Rose Benally (Navajo), was commissioned by donor Helen Cox Kersting through the Heard Museum Shop in Phoenix, Arizona. It was presented to the Eiteljorg in 2005 to commemorate Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure. If you look very closely, you'll see trains running across tracks.

           These changes are a collaboration between several of our curators and the exhibitions and collections departments.  They give new vitality to the galleries, especially as we move toward a new season of school group visitors.


  1. RadEditor - HTML WYSIWYG Editor. MS Word-like content editing experience thanks to a rich set of formatting tools, dropdowns, dialogs, system modules and built-in spell-check.
    RadEditor's components - toolbar, content area, modes and modules
    Toolbar's wrapper 
    Content area wrapper
    RadEditor's bottom area: Design, Html and Preview modes, Statistics module and resize handle.
    It contains RadEditor's Modes/views (HTML, Design and Preview), Statistics and Resizer
    Editor Mode buttonsStatistics moduleEditor resizer
    RadEditor's Modules - special tools used to provide extra information such as Tag Inspector, Real Time HTML Viewer, Tag Properties and other.
© Eiteljorg Museum. All rights reserved.