Kathryn Bunn-Marcuse and Aldona JonaitisApr 27, 2021
Unsettling Native Art Histories on the Northwest Coast
University of Washington Press 2020
Inseparable from its communities, Northwest Coast art functions aesthetically and performatively beyond the scope of non-Indigenous scholarship, from demonstrating kinship connections to manifesting spiritual power. Contributors to Unsettling Native Art Histories on the Northwest Coast (University of Washington Press, 2020), edited by Kathryn Bunn-Marcuse and Aldona Jonaitis, foreground Indigenous understandings in recognition of this rich context and its historical erasure within the discipline of art history.
By centering voices that uphold Indigenous priorities, integrating the expertise of Indigenous knowledge holders about their artistic heritage, and questioning current institutional practices, these new essays "unsettle" Northwest Coast art studies. Key themes include discussions of cultural heritage protections and Native sovereignty; re-centering women and their critical role in transmitting cultural knowledge; reflecting on decolonization work in museums; and examining how artworks function as living documents. The volume exemplifies respectful and relational engagement with Indigenous art and advocates for more accountable scholarship and practices.
Kirstin L. Ellsworth holds a Ph.D. in the History of Art from Indiana University and is Associate Professor of Art History at California State University Dominguez Hills.