Museum of Wisconsin Art: Celebrates Native American Heritage Month in November

Contact: Brittani Mattke, Director of Marketing l Public Relations

[email protected], 262.247.2266


Two Concurrent Exhibitions Feature Native American Art

(WEST BEND, WI) The Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) is proud to feature two Native American exhibitions, Edward S. Curtis and the Vanishing Race and Tom Jones: I am an Indian First and an Artist Second. In celebration of these two exhibitions and Native American Heritage Month in November, MOWA will host several programs to commemorate the month.

Kicking off Native American Heritage Month is a Book Talk on Thursday, October 31, at 6:00. Participants will discuss Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis, by Timothy Egan. MOWA Director of Exhibitions and Collections, Graeme Reid, will introduce the book.

Sunday, November 3, 10:00–5:00 is a MOWA FREE Day. Courtesy of Potawatomi Bingo Casino, all new visitors to the Museum on this day will receive a complimentary one-year membership at the One, Two, or Three + level (based on the number of people present).

The celebration continues on Thursday, November 7, 6:00–9:00, with Art Fall 2013: Savor. The public is invited to MOWA’s inaugural fall celebration, featuring tastings of local craft beers, wines, and ciders, delicious feast foods with a contemporary flair, live music by Wade Fernandez, a traditional Native blessing of the new building, and much more. Cost is $65 per person, or $50 per person for groups of six or more. Register by November 1 at, or call 262.247.2262. All proceeds benefit MOWA.

Programs every Thursday night throughout the end of November and into December finish out the month-long schedule of Native American-inspired activities. On November 14, at 6:30 featured Ho-Chunk artist Tom Jones will give an intriguing Artist Talk. A two-part Native American movie series will begin on November 21 at 6:00 with Reel Injun, followed by the movie Coming to Light on December 5 at 6:00.

Both Edward S. Curtis and the Vanishing Race and Tom Jones: I am an Indian First and an Artist Second are generously sponsored by Potawatomi Bingo Casino.

“The Potawatomi have a long and storied history here in Wisconsin and we are proud to partner with the Museum to showcase the works of two very talented state artists,” said Mike Goodrich, general manager at Potawatomi Bingo Casino. “It is an honor for us to be a part of these exhibitions that celebrate the rich history of Native Americans.”

On view through January 5, 2014, Edward S. Curtis and the Vanishing Race is a photo exhibition by early 20th-century pioneer photographer and Whitewater, Wisconsin native, Edward S. Curtis. Showing the diverse cultures, appearances, lifestyles and language of 80 Native American tribes in the northwest and southwest, visitors to this exhibition will see the real American Indian in the last great images captured in their native settings.

Concurrently on view is Tom Jones: I am an Indian First and an Artist Second, through December 1. Madison-based artist Jones features two photographic bodies of work: I am an Indian First and an Artist Second and The North American Landscape. In the first, Jones uses plastic toy Indian figurines and the genre of abstraction as a metaphor for what he perceives as a form of identity genocide. His second body of work, The North American Landscape, is a contemporary response to the work of Edward S. Curtis.

“Hosting a month full of programming and activities based around these two exhibitions and Native American Heritage Month is very important to MOWA,” says Laurie Winters, MOWA Executive Director l CEO. “When we opened the doors to the new building in April 2013, we knew that we wanted the new Museum to be a place where visitors could experience some of Wisconsin’s oldest art—that of the Native American tribes. Planning two Native American exhibitions for our inaugural year demonstrates our commitment to engage with diverse audiences and to further explore Native American art and its place within the Wisconsin and national art scene.”

For more information on these and other programs at MOWA visit, or call 262.334.9638.