LOS ANGELES — The Autry National Center’s Norman F. Sprague, Jr. Gallery, in Los Angeles is hosting the “Floral Journey: Native American Beadwork” exhibition until April 26, 2015.
The Floral Journey exhibition is a collection of more than American Indian 250 unique objects and personal stories. It is the first of its kind to explore how beaded floral designs became a remarkable art form as well as a means of economic and cultural survival for the Native North American people.
Floral Journey presents moccasins, bags, dresses, hats, jackets, and other exquisitely beaded and quilled items selected from multiple private collections and fifteen cultural institutions, including the Autry’s Southwest Museum of the American Indian Collection. Many of the objects will be displayed to the public for the first time.
The Los Angeles Times calls the exhibition “a fascinating show…with astonishingly beautiful [object]…a story of survival, of a will to endure in the face of crushing opposition.”
Today, in conjunction with the exhibition, the Autry is holding “Change and Continuity: The Impact of Intertribal Trade on Material Culture.” Stephen Silliman, professor of historical archaeology at University of Massachusetts, and Natale Zappia, assistant professor of history at Whittier College, will discuss the vast trade network that existed pre-European contact and beyond between tribes across the continent.
The discussion will center on: How does a European glass bead become a Native American object when used as part of a traditional design on a moccasin? Why were strings of shell beads from the Channel Islands found 500 miles inland in the Hopi and Zuni pueblos?
Change and Continuity: The Impact of Intertribal Trade on Material Culture Discussion
Saturday, May 17, 2:00 p.m.
The Autry National Center
4700 Western Heritage Highway
Los Angeles, California 90027
Photographs are items part of the Floral Journey exhitibition. Photos Courtesy of the Autry National Center.