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At The Met: ‘Art of Native America: The Charles and Valerie Diker Collection’

The Metropolitan Museum of Art currently has on exhibit 116 works of art and objects of Native America culture.  It features works from over fifty cultures across North America based off of geographical location:  Woodlands, Plains, Plateau, California and Great Basin, Southwest, Northwest Coast, and Arctic.

The exhibit, entitled ‘Art of Native America: The Charles and Valerie Diker Collection’, features 116 pieces dating from the second century into the early twentieth century.  The collection from Charles and Valerie Diker is considered to be be one of the most significant private holdings of Native American art.  It includes sculpture from British Columbia and Alaska, baskets from California, pottery from southwestern pueblos, drawings from the Plains, and rare pieces from the eastern Woodlands.

Native American Shoulder Bag ca. 1840
   Shoulder Bag ca. 1840

The collection has a wide variety of beautifully hand crafted objects.  One of the more vibrant types of work are the nineteenth-century shoulder bags, worn by Woodlands men for formal dress.  If the imagery within the bead work is asymmetrical as well as the strap, that indicates a great Seminole example.  When worn, one design appears on the front and another on the back, which is typical of the period.  A Delaware artist made the bag pictured here, following the tribe’s relocation there in the mid-nineteenth century. The symmetrical, geometric motifs in the center reflect the beginnings of Prairie-style bead work.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is located on Lenapehoking which is a term for the lands historically inhabited by the Native American people known as the Lenape.  The museum recognizes and praises this with their exhibition acknowledging their cultural and spiritual connections to the area.

When: The exhibition opened October 4, 2018 and is ongoing.

For more information and a fantastic conservation story video of a Yup’ik mask visit the exhibition website.

Where: It is located in Gallery 746 of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, located at 1000 5th Avenue in New York City and is open Sunday through Thursday from 10AM to 5:30PM, Friday and Saturday from 10AM to 9PM.


Admission is $25 for adults, $17 for seniors, $12 for students, and free for children under 12.  New York State residents have the ability to choose what to pay.  This exhibit and all others are included in museum admission. There are also multiple membership options available.

If you have a piece you would like to sell or are curious about, call us at (518)-587-8787 or send an e-mail to to make an appointment at either our Saratoga or Colonie locations!

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Antiques, Art, events, Exhibition, M, Metropolitan Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum, Museum Exhibition, Native American, New York