Native North American Art

Native North American Art Gallery (Gallery LG34)

The objects in this gallery open discussions about the continuity and change of Native American art across time and media. Diverse peoples have been making art in North America for thousands of years. This gallery displays regional styles from across the continent, including works from the Great Lakes and Eastern United States and Canada, Plains, Southwest, and Pacific Northwest. Some of the earliest objects in the collection are examples of pottery made by the ancient Mississippian Mound Builders, which were among the first works of art to enter the MFA’s collection after the Museum opened to the public  in 1876. Collections of 19th- and 20th-century Mi’kmaq quillwork, Pueblo pottery and weaving, Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwakiutl) carving, and Plains ledger drawing include objects made for both native use and cross-cultural trade. Works of modern and contemporary art such as Maria Martinez’s bowl (about 1919–20) (currently on view in "Women Take the Floor," Diego Romero’s Pot: Burning Airplanes (2002–3), and David Bradley’s Greasy Grass Premonition #2 (1995) demonstrate new interpretations of traditional themes and techniques.