The Peabody Essex Museum has been collecting the work of Native American artists since the mid-19th century, but only in the past two decades has it made much of the collection available to the public. The first exhibition to draw extensively from these holdings was Gifts of the Spirit. For this exhibition, five curators chose works from the collection linking nineteenth-century and contemporary artistic expression. The catalog includes essays by the curators reflecting on their selections as well as insights based on traditional Native American thought.
The publication accompanies the exhibition Gifts of the Spirit: Works by Nineteenth-Century & Contemporary Native American Artists on view at the Peabody Essex Museum from November 14, 1996 through May 18, 1997.
Dan L. Monroe is The Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Director and former CEO of the Peabody Essex Museum.