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In Conversation: Will Wilson

Dates: August 18, 2023–December 2, 2023.

Diné (Navajo) photographer Will Wilson’s ongoing Critical Indigenous Photographic Exchange project is dedicated to creating a contemporary vision of Native North America.  

Through the exhibition, Wilson responds directly to the work of 20th-century photographer Edward Sheriff Curtis (1868–1952). Curtis is known for his 20-volume The North American Indian (1907-1930), which was created to capture the supposed vanishing race of Native Americans. Curtis’ photographs simplified and romanticized Native American life. In contrast, Wilson has created rich, complex portraits that center Indigenous perspectives.  

In Conversation explores the relationship of science, identity, agency, and representation in photography while also considering the lasting legacy and stereotypes created by historical images of Indigenous peoples in North America. 

“Curtis created the most comprehensive archive of indigenous North Americans, and now contemporary artists want to take that authority back and create archives of who they believe themselves to be.”

– Will Wilson



Generous support provided by Art Bridges

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In Conversation: Will Wilson is organized by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

The exhibition was curated by Mindy Besaw, Curator of American Art/Director of Fellowships & Research from Crystal Bridges, and Ashley Holland, AssociateCurator from Art Bridges.

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