Reinterpreting American History at the Eiteljorg Museum

Megan True Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Steve Nyktas Butler University
The complexity of the relationship between Native Americans and Western Americans is reflected in the visual culture of both societies, and in how it is displayed within the context of museums. The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art is unique because it contains collections from both of these societies. It can be argued that displaying art from both societies in the same space only contributes to the colonial mindset because the voices of the Native Americans will be drowned out by the more dominant voices of the white settlers. I argue that the way that the Eiteljorg Museum presents their galleries and utilizes educational programming is beneficial in teaching all of the diverse perspectives of the American West. This is clear through analysis of the galleries “Attitudes: The West in American Art” and “Mihtohseenionki: The People’s Place”, the examination of the design of the galleries and the works displayed within them. These diverse perspectives are too often excluded from history requirements in schools, which is why the Eiteljorg Museum serves as an excellent tool to teach the true stories of the American West through art and hands on learning.
Art/Art History
Oral Presentation

When & Where

09:30 AM
Lilly Hall 133