The National Museum of American History is not an art museum. But works of art fill its collections and testify to the vital place of art in everyday American life. The ceramics collections hold hundreds of examples of American and European art glass and pottery. Fashion sketches, illustrations, and prints are part of the costume collections. Donations from ethnic and cultural communities include many homemade religious ornaments, paintings, and figures. The Harry T Peters "America on Stone" collection alone comprises some 1,700 color prints of scenes from the 1800s. The National Quilt Collection is art on fabric. And the tools of artists and artisans are part of the Museum's collections, too, in the form of printing plates, woodblock tools, photographic equipment, and potters' stamps, kilns, and wheels.
"Art - Overview" showing 1 items.
- The production and exchange of ceramics, metalwork, textiles, and other crafts were part of the economies of the Southwest and Mesoamerica centuries before the arrival of Africans, Spaniards, and other Europeans in the Americas. While central Mexico was almost immediately connected to the global economy after the Spanish conquest in the early 1520s, New Mexico and other frontier areas remained isolated and relatively self-sufficient until the mid-1800s. Once New Mexico was incorporated into the United States however, wagon trains and then railroads brought in new English-speaking residents and tourists, unsettling the economies of the established Hispano and Pueblo communities. By the early 20th century, a new livelihood emerged for local artisans—the creation of crafts for the tourist market. The tourist market demanded products that were as much about stereotypes as they were about authenticity. This Spanish Colonial Revival chair was made by Hipólito Sisneros in 1945 while he was a student at the Taos Vocational Educational School. Using a decorative technique called chip-carving, Sisneros crafted this chair in the style of New Mexican furniture from the early 1800s. After the 1930s, many Hispanics and Native Americans were enrolled in craft schools like this in an attempt by the state of New Mexico to support local craft cooperatives that targeted Anglo-American consumers.
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- Taos Municipal School
- Sisneros, H.
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- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center