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Blanketing the Plains: Navajo Chief Blankets in Indian Country

Jill Ahlberg Yohe
Jill Ahlberg Yohe, Assistant Curator of Native Art at MIA

Event Details

The South Dakota Art Museum is hosting a lecture by Jill Ahlberg Yohe, Assistant Curator of Native Art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia). Refreshments will be served. This is free and open to the public.

Throughout the 19th Century, Navajo Chief Blankets were imported into the Northern and Southern Plains, becoming one of the most important inter-tribal luxury goods of its time. This lecture explores the significance, trade, and use of Navajo Chief Blankets in Navajo communities and across Indian Country.

This talk is one of three being given tonight in South Dakota as part of the Northern Plains Indian Art Market Jurors’ Forum 30th Anniversary. The Northern Plains Indian Art Market takes place in Sioux Falls September 22-23; click here for NPIAM schedule details.

Ms. Yohe oversees Mia’s collection of Native American art. She arrived at Mia in 2014, having previously served as assistant curator and Mellon Fellow of Native American Art at the St. Louis Art Museum. There, she installed the museum’s first three permanent galleries of Native American art and collaborated with Lakota artist Arthur Amiotte and Crow artist Wendy Red Star to bring Native understandings to works from their respective communities.

She grew up in rural Pennsylvania, received her BA from the University of Maryland, and studied anthropology for her MA at the University of New Mexico. For her PhD (2008), also from the University of New Mexico, she focused on Navajo textiles, learning the Navajo language and living on the vast Navajo reservation for 4.5 years. Among her initiatives at Mia is showcasing native Minnesota artists, highlighting the art of native women, and bringing native perspectives to bear on the museum’s collection.

Thursday, Sep. 21, 2017 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm South Dakota Art Museum

Parking Information

Lots on Harvey Dunn Street west of the South Dakota Art Museum and behind Scobey Hall (accessed from 9th Avenue between Harvey Dunn Street and 9th Street.)