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Minneapolis Institute of Art : In Our Hands : Native Photography, 1890 to Now


The Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) will present In Our Hands: Native Photography, 1890 to Now, a major exhibition builds upon the work of Native artists, scholars, and knowledge-sharers to trace the intersecting histories of photography and First Nations, Métis, Inuit, and Native American cultures, from the Rio Grande to the Arctic Circle. Developed in partnership with a curatorial council comprised primarily of Native advisors, In Our Hands centers the work of Native photographers with a diverse array of photographic objects that illuminate the ways in which Native people have advanced the medium of photography for over a century. The exhibition will be on view at Mia through January 14, 2024.

“We are excited to present such a comprehensive exhibition about Native photography, one created by and for Native people that will be equally powerful for non-Native audiences,” said Katie Luber, Nivin and Duncan MacMillan Director and President of Mia. “The exhibition celebrates the legacies of First Nations, Métis, Inuit, and Native American photographers who emerged from a range of creative backgrounds and highlights their lasting impact on the medium. By relying on Native knowledge systems to guide their work, the many curators who have contributed to this project have advanced the work of Mia as a whole. This exhibition underscores both our long-standing commitment to presenting works by Native artists and how our approach with these artists can strengthen relationships with our audiences and community.”

Presented in Mia’s 12,000 square foot Target Gallery, the exhibition is comprised of three thematic sections. By intermingling works created across time and place, and works that vary in format and formal approach, each section reveals the breadth and depth of Native photographic practice over that last 130 years.

The first section, A World of Relations, reveals the ways in which Native people and cultures conceive of the living world holistically, with respect for all forms of life and an appreciation for their interconnections.

The section Always Leaders recognizes Native leadership across an array of critical issues such as human rights, sustainable environmental practices, and the interdependent preservation of Native land and culture.

The third section, Always Present, declares the visual sovereignty of Native photographers and celebrates First Nations, Métis, Inuit, and Native American people through the lens of Native artists. The works in this section reject harmful visual narratives that would portray Native communities and cultures as declining or disappearing, and instead illuminate the profound social, political, intellectual, and artistic engagements of Native communities.

In addition to the thematic galleries, the exhibition includes reflection spaces for both Native and non-Native visitors, providing room for contemplation of the works on view. Key terms and phrases will also be identified and discussed throughout the show to ensure knowledge-sharing within and beyond Native audiences.


In Our Hands: Native Photography, 1890 to Now
On view through January 14, 2024
Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia)
2400 3rd Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55404

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