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The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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If I had the money and time, this is the exhibit I would be most excited to see this year. The vision, social change, and sheer artistry are unparalleled.

It's sweet how much of the information about this exhibit is now online.

I just can't get over the incredible painstaking artistry in these objects. Not only is it incredible to think that a basically nomadic people could work in some of these materials, especially the beaded leather -- anyone who has ever beaded a single thing can tell you that you need strong light, good needles, and an uncanny ability to maintain a straight line using materials utterly unsuited for the job -- but also almost every single one of these pieces is a multimedia collaboration. I'm not even sure how some of these artists could collect the materials -- A SINGLE ITEM can require human scalps, glass and metal beads, silk ribbon, grizzly bear claws, eagle feathers, porcupine quills, paints, home-tanned leather, and bison hair -- much less convey their artistic vision to their collaborators (men did the painting, women did the beading). For all our technological prowess, we seem incapable of producing objects as wondrous as these.

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