And then on Friday, I headed downtown to scout out museums for a field trip in June. We're taking the sixth graders sailing on the Pioneer, but it's going to be a long day because we have to split them up into three groups for the sails, and we need activities for them to do when not at sea... I visited the Museum of the American Indian, the Museum of American Financial History, and Fraunces Tavern. I got museumed-out before I had a chance to check out the Skyscraper Museum.
I was most impressed by the Museum of the American Indian, which is a part of the Smithsonian and is housed in a beautiful, grandiose Beaux-Arts building.
Right now, they have an exhibit of Native American pottery from all over the Americas, from thousands of years ago to the present. The pieces are fascinating and the explanation provided is interesting and helpful. The Museum took special care to include voices of Native American potters in the exhibit, and to involve them in the curation of the show. This worked really well. The presence of pieces made in the last few years, by living artists, highlighted the fact that the older objects were also pieces of artwork made by individuals who made artistic choices. And the presence of the older pieces highlighted the continuity of this tradition going back thousands of years. If that makes any sense.
The jar below is supposed to represent a hungry, open-mouthed baby bird. Cool, huh?