The Royal BC Museum’s newest international traveling exhibition, First Nations Masterworks from BC, has opened at the Gold Museum (Museo del Oro) in Bogotá, Colombia.
The exhibition dubbed in Spanish Primeras Naciones de Canadá, Culturas y artes vivas features contemporary First Nations cultural treasures, primarily from Indigenous communities along British Columbia’s Pacific coast, in the Royal BC Museum’s First Nations collection. Through the lens of exemplary artefacts and images, the exhibition highlights the dynamic artistic contributions of living Indigenous cultures in Western Canada.
“This exhibition, developed by the Royal BC Museum’s First Nations and Repatriation Department, speaks to the continuous Indigenous cultural traditions and ways of understanding land and sea over thousands of years,” says Prof. Jack Lohman, CEO of the Victoria-based Royal BC Museum. “Temporary exhibitions like this are only possible thanks to the strong relations we have with Colombian museums and the goodwill of many communities to make these treasures available internationally.”
The exhibition dramatizes the long histories of Indigenous people, the history of colonization, varied cultural traditions and the strength and future of living cultures. It is also designed to orient a Latin American audience to the particular geographic, mythological and historical context of British Columbia and its original inhabitants, to whom spiritual wealth was based on connections between the natural and supernatural worlds.
The works in the exhibition also document a pivotal moment in BC’s more recent history, when age-old art forms were revived and First Nations art came to new prominence in BC.
The names of the modern masters behind many of the works treasures are a veritable who’s-who of First Nations artistic luminaries: Edenshaw, Hunt, Martin, Reid, Point and Cranmer are just a few of the anglicised names visitors to this exhibition will encounter.
The Museo del Oro loaned the Royal BC Museum a selection of stunning pre-Hispanic gold artefacts from Colombia that became a gallery-within-a-gallery for the feature exhibition Gold Rush! in 2015. First Nations Masterworks from BC is the Royal BC Museum’s response: a loan of treasures, equally priceless in material and cultural significance. The exhibition ends April 1, 2018.
Museo del Oro / Cra 6 No.15-88
Open Tuesday to Saturday $4,000 pesos (Adults). Children under 12 and Seniors free.
Sunday is free general admission.