Beadwork at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

I visited MIA last week, during the last week of the Art of the Native American special exhibit. The pieces on display are owned by the Fenimore Art Museum, and photography was not allowed (MIA permits photos of items that they own). There were examples of the finest beadwork, quillwork, basket making, weaving, and more — the best I’ve ever seen. There was one quilled piece made of the classic flattened quills – but it looked like the edge was showing, not the flattened part. A basket made of rye grass had, if I’m remembering right, 26 stitches per inch. MIA has made a pdf for educators with 30 pages of text and images, if you’re interested.

SO, since I couldn’t take pictures of that, I took pictures of a couple other pieces. This first one took my breath away. It’s owned by MIA, but must have just rotated onto display as I haven’t seen it before.

This amazing case is made by Ida (?) Claymore, probably Minneconjou Lakota around 1880-1910.

And finally, a fun whimsy I hadn’t seen before. Is that an albino beaver at the top? It’s a Haudenausanee (Iroquois) match case.

4 Replies to “Beadwork at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts”

    1. Thank you! It’s a great acquisition, I enjoyed seeing it. I probably didn’t read the signage well (or his Twitter feed, I do follow him) as I was too busy admiring the beadwork….

  1. I just watched an episode of Antiques Roadshow on PBS and a woman had a similar, albeit much more worn, version of the bag shown on this page. It was made by a Claymore from the Standing Rock area. The reason it caught my attention is that Claymore are my ancestors!

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