FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 20, 2006
CONTACT: CHRIS DISSINGER / (802)656-8582
Fleming Museum opens new Native American gallery

BURLINGTON, VT- The Robert Hull Fleming Museum marks its 75th Anniversary with the opening of a new permanent gallery of Native American art and material culture. Dedicated to the late University of Vermont Professor of Anthropology Jim Petersen -who was a guiding force behind the new installation- the gallery will explore the material cultures and artistic traditions of indigenous peoples of North America through art and artifacts. The gallery will open with a dedication reception on Friday, October 13, beginning at 5:30.

Drawing upon the unique breadth and strengths of the Fleming's collections, the gallery features outstanding examples of Navajo textiles, Plains quillwork and beadwork, carvings from the Northwest Coast, pottery from the Southwest, baskets from California and New England, and lithics from Vermont, among others. Highlights include a stunning Chilkat blanket, examples of both historical and contemporary Abenaki baskets, and the "Colchester Jar," which dates back to ca. 1500 and was unearthed in Colchester in the 1820s.

Through objects that date from pre-contact to the present, the installation explores a number of themes, including the continuity of cultural traditions, innovation resulting from exchange between Native American cultural groups, and the impact of contact with peoples of European descent. Moreover, the gallery highlights diverse views and approaches by displaying texts by Native Americans from both local and national tribes alongside those of Museum staff and University of Vermont faculty.

In dedicating The James B. Petersen Memorial Gallery of Native American Cultures, the Museum celebrates the memory of a beloved professor who selflessly shared his scholarly expertise and his passionate commitment toward the goal of understanding and celebrating the art of the original Americans.

Also on view at the Fleming Museum are Colors of the Amazon: Featherworks from the Nalin and Petersen Collections, The Aesthetics of Fire: Glass Sculpture by Tony Jojola and Preston Singletary and Fleming at 75: From Curator's Cabinet to Modern Museum.

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Woman's Buffalo Robe (Crow), 19th century. Buffalo hide, beads, metal, wool. Ogden B. Read Collection 1881.3.87 (5.5MB)

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Grizzly Bear Moccasins (Sioux), 19th century. Rawhide, beads, metal, horsehair, grizzly bear claws. Ogden B. Read Collection 1881.3.73 (4.5MB)

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Shaman's Soul Catcher (Bella Coola, British Columbia), 19th Century Bone, cedar bark Museum purchase 1910.1.32 (3.5MB)

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Bandolier bag (Crow), 19th century. Deerskin, beads, cloth. Ogden B. Read Collection 1881.3.87 (2.8MB)

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Colchester Jar, 1400-1550. Pottery. Gift of Luther Loomis 1827.1 (4.5MB)


FLEMING MUSEUM GALLERY OPENING:
The James B. Petersen Memorial Gallery of Native American Cultures
GRAND OPENING: Friday, October 13. 5:30PM - 7:30PM

ADMISSION:
$5 adults. $10 family, $3 students and seniors. Free to: Museum members; faculty, staff and students of UVM, Burlington College, Champlain College, Community College of Vermont, and St. Michael's College; Children 6 and under.