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The stone that cracked the wall between the institution and the First Nation artist : the National Gallery of Canada, 1980-2008

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The stone that cracked the wall between the institution and the First Nation artist : the National Gallery of Canada, 1980-2008

Soulliere, Jacinthe (2008) The stone that cracked the wall between the institution and the First Nation artist : the National Gallery of Canada, 1980-2008. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The official mandate of the National Gallery of Canada's is to "develop, maintain, and make known, throughout Canada and internationally, a collection of works of art, both historic and contemporary, with special, but not exclusive, reference to Canada." 1 The broad inclusiveness of this mandate notwithstanding, it was not until 1986 that the National Gallery acquired its first contemporary Aboriginal work of art, Carl Beam's (1943-2005) The North American Iceberg (1985). This thesis outlines the National Gallery's history concerning the collection, display and dissemination of contemporary Aboriginal art. Its title refers to a speech made in 1994 by a member of the Society of Canadian Artists of Native Ancestry, the driving force behind the inclusion of Aboriginal art in the National Gallery's permanent collection and exhibition schedule. An outline of criticisms toward Canada and its art museums from the 1950s to the 1980s highlights the lack of dissemination and display of Aboriginal cultural production. An analysis of the current state of Aboriginal art at the National Gallery and the changes undergone by the institution question whether or not it has been successful in being more inclusive of the artistic production of Canada's First People. Questioning the National Gallery's motives in terms of Irit Rogoff's notions of strategies of compensatory visibility, the enactment of loss, and the staging of cultural encounters will bring to light the institution's apparent success or failure. Institutional change can be influenced by many factors--individuals such as curators, politics and world events. This thesis highlights key factors that affected change at the National Gallery concerning their ambiguous relationship with Aboriginal art. 1 National Gallery of Canada, "About the NGC," http://www.gallery.ca/english/91.htm

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Soulliere, Jacinthe
Pagination:vii, 124 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Art History
Date:2008
Thesis Supervisor(s):Racette, S
ID Code:976177
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:21
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:41
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