New Indian Art Exhibit opens today - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New Indian Art Exhibit opens today

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By Ryan Houston - bio | email

ALBANY,  GA (WALB) –Southwest Georgia  is full of rich history. Part of our distinct history is being shown through an art exhibit at the Albany Museum of Art. It includes history on Creek, Cherokee, and Choctaw Indian tribes from right here in South Georgia.

This exhibit puts to rest the image of Native Americans as uncivilized. Also it shows Indian tribes and there civilizations formed before Europeans arrived in America.

If you've seen any old western movies, Native Americans can look pretty scary . "Those are just not true, They are sort of stereotypes or made up images of Native Americans," said Director of The Albany Museum of Art Nick Nelson. 

That's just what this new exhibit shows."These are portraits of prominent Native American leaders who were living in this area," said Nelson.  

Every painting is a picture in time, of the way things were. "This collection was started by the U.S. Government's Bureau of Indian Affairs," said Curator Merritt Giles. 

It was started as a piece offering because the Indians decided to give up their homeland.  "These leaders were on their way to sign treaties to give away their land to the U.S. Government," said Giles. 

Which is why they wore suits, hats and other European attire. Because they were about to meet President Andrew Jackson. " These are formal dresses. Imagine meeting the president. You wouldn't wear cut off jeans and a tank top," said Nelson.

But you'll learn that if you visit the exhibit. "The average person should care about this exhibition. Because it's really the history of this area, or the very beginning of U.S. History," said Nelson. 

To see a lot more about American Indians, Visit the Albany Museum of Art. Many originals that were made by Charlesberg King were destroyed by fire at the Smithsonian.

Most of the paintings date back to the 1820's. Henry Inman is responsible for painting the replicas on display at the museum. The Indian Gallery of Henry Inman opens today at 9:30 at the Albany Museum of Art. It's free to the public.

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