Ted Coe and Collecting Native Art: Good Eye and Pie - Bruce Bernstein - Barbara A. and Edward G. Hail Lecture

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Thursday, March 10, 2016 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Salomon Center, Room 001

Bruce Bernstein and Barbara Hail at the post-NAASA conference tour at Tsankawi (Tewa) archaeological site, 7,000 feet high, approachable only by ladder.

Presented by Bruce Bernstein (Ralph T. Coe Foundation for the Arts).  Ted Coe was a pioneer in the field of Native Art studies, curating landmark exhibitions, writing seminal books, and promoting Native art connoisseurship. Trained as an art historian specializing in European art, Coe ultimately found his life’s passion in collecting Native American Art and worked tirelessly to expand the public’s understanding and appreciation of traditional and contemporary forms, even as many connoisseurs, collectors, and even artists thought them to be lost. Largely self-taught through years of study and interactions with Native artists and community members, he elevated people’s appreciation and understanding of Native art and, importantly, the cultures and artists that created these works.

The exhibitions he organized, such as the groundbreaking international Sacred Circles, Two Thousand Years of North American Indian Art and Lost and Found Traditions: Native American Art 1965-1985 both emphasized and empathetically presented artistry and people. These exhibitions proved to museum audiences that the art of Native Americans could meet the highest standards of any culture.  Sponsored by the Friends of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology and donors to the Barbara A. And Edward G. Hail Lecture.

Bruce Bernstein has dedicated his three decades of work in museums to collaborative work and modeling new partnerships in research methodologies, curatorial principles and practices, contributing to today's working models of inclusive collections and exhibition programs. Currently, he serves as the Executive Director of the Continuous Pathways Foundation and the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, Pueblo of Pojoaque; and as Executive Director and curator for the Ralph T. Coe Foundation for the Arts. As assistant director for collections and research at the National Museum of the American Indian he supervised the opening and operation of the Cultural Resources Center as well as served on the team that opened the museum in September 2004. Bernstein has also served as chief curator and director of the Santa Fe's Museum of Indian Arts and Culture and Laboratory of Anthropology, developing and supervising the modernization of the museum's exhibitions and programs. He also served as executive director of the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts. He holds a doctorate in anthropology from the University of New Mexico. Bernstein has published broadly on Native arts and museums as well as curated numerous exhibitions.