Department Chair

Andrew D. Nicholls, Ph.D. Professor of History

Date of Award

8-2016

Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

Museum Studies, M.A.

Department

History and Social Studies Education Department

Advisor

Cynthia A. Conides, Ph.D. Associate Professor of History and Social Studies Education Program and Director for Museum Studies

Department Home page

http://graduateschool.buffalostate.edu/programs?bpid=522

First Reader

Cynthia A. Conides, Ph.D. Associate Professor of History and Social Studies Education Program and Director for Museum Studies

Second Reader

Lisa Marie Anselmi, Ph.D., R.P.A. Associate Professor and Chair of Anthropology and Coordinator for Indigenous Studies

Abstract

Museums today have many responsibilities, including protecting and understanding objects in their care. Many also have relationships with groups of people whose items or artworks are housed within their institutions. This paper explores the relationship between museums and Northwest Coast Native Americans and their artists. Participating museums include those in and out of the Northwest Coast region, such as the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, the Burke Museum, the Royal British Columbia Museum, the American Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Museum. Museum professionals who conducted research for some of these museums included Franz Boas, James Swan, and Frederick Ward Putnum, and they worked with Natives and artists like Charles Edenshaw who influenced later artists including Bill Holm, Bill Reid, Mungo Martin, Willie Seaweed, Robert Davidson and Cheryl Samuel. The relationship is explored by examining different moments in history that occurred between the Northwest Coast’s origins and today, as well as the Native art made during these times. Some of these moments include Native contact with outsiders, the era of collecting, the Northwest Coast Renaissance, and the effects of repatriation laws/guidelines. These moments had an effect on the relationship and enabled it to develop into what it is today.