The Maxwell Museum of Anthropology at The University of New Mexico will host a closing reception for its two current exhibitions on Native American basketry — We Were Basketmakers Before We Were Pueblo People and Conversing With the Land: Native American Baskets of the Maxwell Museum Collection — Saturday, Jan. 20, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Visitors are invited to join the museum staff for light refreshments and conversation with the exhibition curators.

Jennifer Denetdale, professor, American Studies

Anyone who has not yet seen these beautiful shows or wants to visit them again is encouraged to come in before the end of January.

This exhibit is in part sponsored by the Alfonso Ortiz Center for Intercultural Studies.

Work begins soon on the installation of the next Maxwell temporary exhibition, Nothing Left for Me: Federal Policy and the Photography of Milton Snow in Diné Bikéyah curated by guest curators UNM Professor of American Studies Jennifer Denetdale (Diné) and independent curator Lillia McEnaney. Using the photographs of Milton Snow, this exhibition will examine the impact of U.S. Indian Commissioner John Collier’s brutal Navajo Livestock Reduction Program on Diné communities and homelands. Snow (1905-1986) was a non-Native photographer employed by the Navajo Service—a Works Progress Administration-funded Soil Conservation Service (SCS) project—from 1937 to 1957.

Over 20 years, Snow produced thousands of images of Diné people, homes, and landscapes, all of which were intended to provide proof that federal technologies were in fact working to “rehabilitate” Navajo lands and lives. Instead, Snow’s images show us radically altered communities, landscapes, and homes; the construction of dams, mines, and imposed grazing and agricultural practices; and newly formed political, educational, and socioeconomic organizations, all of which point to the pervasive, oppressive nature of the American colonial administration. By placing Snow’s images in conversation with a selection of archival documents, collection objects, and contemporary photographs, this exhibition foregrounds Diné perspectives on the intersecting and ongoing legacies of both photography and American colonialism. The formal opening for the exhibition with a presentation by Professor Denetdale will be on Saturday May 4, from 3-5 pm.

The Maxwell is located at 500 University Blvd. NE on the UNM campus and is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is free and donations are welcome.

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