-- The George Gustave Heye Center, the New York branch of the National Museum of the American Indian, inaugurates its new Diker Pavilion for Native Arts and Cultures with Beauty Surrounds Us, an exhibit featuring 77 objects from the museum's collection.
Beauty Surrounds Us celebrates the harmonious and graceful aesthetics present in all of these objects--from everyday tools and games to ceremonial regalia, writes Center director John Haworth in the accompanying brochure. [.pdf] When I look through these stunning masterworks--from the delicate ornaments makde with beetle wings to the elk tooth dress made for an undoubtedly special little girl--it is sometimes difficult to remember that they were never meant to be in a museum. They were used and worn by real people--not unlike the visitors, students, and travelers we welcome everyday here at the George Gustav Heye Center.
The exhibition includes two interactive media stations, at which visitors may access in-depth descriptions of each object and, through virtual imaging technology, view and rotate a selection of the objects to examine them more closely.
Beauty Surrounds Us continues through Sept. 23, 2008, at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, George Gustav Heye Center, 1 Bowling Green, Lower Manhattan, (212) 514-3700.