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“Making Visible” features artworks from ASU Art Museum’s permanent collections and examines how these objects perpetuate and fortify mythologies of the American West. With over 90% of the Museum’s 13,000+ objects entering the collection as gifts, this exhibition questions how the perspective of donors reflects specific tastes and fantasies about the Southwest. Further, it explores how museums create cultural narratives based on available objects without considering what is missing. Centering people and their stories, the exhibition seeks to redress and restore the archival silences and gaps in the museum’s collections by interrogating how racism, sexism, settler colonialism and other exclusionary practices produced a collection that centers Eurocentricity.
“Making Visible” is organized in collaboration with a community of advisors composed of activists, scholars and artists that lend important and yet historically excluded cultural perspectives. The museum worked with NY-based artist Miguel Luciano to develop the exhibition design, audience experience and public programs along with Amelia Hay, learning and co-creation specialist. In addition, they commissioned Jacob Meders, local artist and member of the Mechoopda Indian Tribe of Chico Rancheria, to write labels looking critically at several of the historical artworks in the exhibition. The curatorial team includes Julio César Morales, senior curator; Mary-Beth Buesgen, curator of collections and archives; Brittany Corrales, curator; Ninabah Winton, Windgate assistant curator of contemporary craft and design fellow and Abby Sutton, Windgate curatorial assistant.
“Making Visible” is sponsored by the Terra Foundation for American Art with generous support from the ASU Art Museum Boards and Councils.
Image credit: Joseph Henry Sharp, “Portrait of Taos Indian,” c. 1914, oil on linen canvas, 17 x 14 in., Gift of Oliver B. James. Fritz Scholder, “Portrait of a Massacred Indian,” 1973, lithograph, 40 x 30 in., Gift of Mr. Burton Horwitch.