Skip to Content
Admission is always free Directions
The Gallery is closed today
The Far North: 2000 Years of American Eskimo and Indian Art
March 8 – May 15, 1973
Ground Floor, Central Gallery, Galleries G-7, G-8, Space 11 (5,200 sq. ft.)

This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery.

Overview: Among the 365 objects representing the native cultures of Alaska and the Northwest coast were masks, helmets, chests, ceremonial headdresses and gowns, and carved ivories from prehistoric times to the end of the 19th century. Loans came from national collections in the Soviet Union, Finland, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Scotland, and Ireland, in addition to 23 museums in the United States and Canada. The first conception of the exhibition was proposed in 1968 by René d'Harnoncourt, who earlier had organized the first large show of Indian arts at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The idea was promoted by Mitchell Wilder, director of the Amon Carter Museum of Western Art in Fort Worth.

Organization: Douglas Lewis coordinated the exhibition at the National Gallery. In the installation, designed by Gaillard Ravenel, forest and coastal settings were recreated using weathered wood from an old barn, bark, wood chips, and pebbles. Sepia photographs of the areas from which the objects originated also were shown.

Attendance: 184,916

Catalog: The Far North: 2000 Years of American Eskimo and Indian Art, by Henry B. Collins, Frederica de Laguna, Edmund Carpenter, and Peter Stone. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, in association with the National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1973.

Other Venues: Anchorage Historical and Fine Arts Museum, Alaska, June 10–September 9, 1973
Portland Art Museum, September 23–November 18, 1973
Amon Carter Museum of Western Art, Fort Worth, December 6, 1973–February 3, 1974

Image: Installation view of The Far North: 2000 Years of American Eskimo and Indian Art, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Gallery Archives

exhibition catalog

Download a free PDF of the exhibition catalog (PDF 81.81MB)