Saturday, March 6, 2010

Cleveland Museum of Art: Thaw Collection Member's Preview Party

I have a confession to make: Despite my outwardly European appearance, I am a member (by a mere fractions but a member nonetheless) of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa (Ojibwa) Indians* I was particularly curious about what this exhibition would bring. I had also kind of forgotten about this event (witness the fact that it never made it to my "Events I know I'm Attending" list to the right) until I was trying to figure out what the heck I was going to do tonight.

I thought that the preview party for the Gauguin exhibition lacked direction, largely because there was no "welcome" (and honestly, I wasn't that thrilled by the exhibition -- it seemed nearly every other work referenced his Lady In The Waves, I work that wasn't relevant to me) and this oversight has been corrected. Interim director Ms. Gribbon provided a succinct welcome and concise overview of the source of the works which gave a clear focus to both the party and exhibition.

The museum's catering staff should be commended for choosing Native American influenced foods to set the mood, though it would have been nice to have something, eh, less natural on hand**

I was generally impressed by the geographic and stylistic variety of the works and the simple beauty in many of the pieces, some clearly ornamental and some where form followed function. While difficult to choose a single "favorite" piece, perhaps coincidentally, the piece that most caught my eye is near the exit to the exhibition is a vibrantly colored and intricately detailed saddlebag... by an Ojibwa artist.

The exhibition is free (general admission to the Cleveland Museum of Art's galleries is always free) and runs through May 30th -- see more information here. What more of an excuse do you need to visit?

* - Though my membership card has expired, so I'm not 100% sure I'm still an Indian. But I'm also not entirely sure why one needs a membership card for an ethnicity.
** - Yes, one of my faults is that places like Whole Foods scare the bejesus out of me. So shoot me. I also like an unhealthy amount of salt and butter.


  1. Indians are from India!

    Were you at the museum of art today? I was!

  2. When the tribe you belong to refers to themselves as Indians, it's a bit difficult to argue. I tend to go with Native American Indian to cover all of the PC bases in one fell swoop("Native American", "American Indian", "Indian", and "American")

    I was at the party from about 6:30-8:15 or so on Saturday.

  3. I'm not trying to start a flame war, I swear