AIE Exhibition in the Ambassador’s Residence in Wellington, New Zealand
“Jill and I are proud to bring this collection of contemporary Native American art to our home. We are very grateful to the Tia Collection in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for making these works available. It is their mission, and ours, to share this important example of American culture with our new friends and whānau in Aotearoa.
“We are grateful also to the State Department’s Arts in Embassies program for shipping these works and our facilities team from the Embassy for the installation at the Residence.
“Both Jill and I have a long history with Native American art and artists. My mother, Lee Udall, brought a selection of works by Native American artists to the Department of Interior in the 1960s when my father was Secretary of the Department. That selection included paintings by Fritz Scholder, an old family friend, who is represented now at the Residence with his monumental “Fred Harvey Indian.” He and Cara Romero, also represented at the Residence with “Last Indian Market,” are currently featured in an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
“Jill was a consultant to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. for the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall in 2004 and continued to work with the museum to promote Native art. Among other museum projects, she commissioned a suite of Native prints for the Arts in Embassies program to be displayed in Embassies and Residences around the world. One of those prints, from Marie Watts’ “Blanket Series,” hangs now in our Residence.
“We plan to show this contemporary Native American art alongside a selection of works by contemporary Māori artists. It is our intention to explore the ways in which these cultures relate to each other artistically, given their histories as indigenous people displaced by colonial powers.
“We hope you enjoy these wonderful works of art as much as we do. Kia ora!” – U.S. Ambassador Udall.
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