Final Weeks of “All My Relations: A Seneca History” Exhibit at Mitchell Museum of the American Indian

Mitchell Seneca

Published August 21, 2015

EVANSTON, ILLINOIS — Mitchell Museum of the American Indian’s exhibit “All My Relations: A Seneca History,” which opened last fall in collaboration with visual artist and dancer Rosy Simas (Seneca), is closing August 31. A final curator led tour of the exhibit will be held on Saturday, August 22 from 10:30-11:30am. The tour is free with regular museum admission.

“All My Relations: A Seneca History” introduces the history of the Seneca culture through milestones in the lives of Ms. Simas and her relations. It displays traditional and modern Seneca artifacts, which over the span of generations, represent the intimate themes of loss, connection and resilience by Ms. Simas and her tribal connection.

Rosy Simas from her modern dance video that plays in the exhibit

Rosy Simas from her modern dance video that plays in the exhibit

The recorded maternal lineage of Ms. Simas extends back to Cornplanter (1750-1836), the distinct War Chief of the Seneca tribe during the time the Canandaigua Treaty of 1794 (a land treaty) was signed by George Washington. Materials from Simas’ grandmother tell of growing up on the reservation, attending boarding school, relocation to urban centers, and the American Indian Movement. Historical maps and unique artifacts including a Seneca basket made by famous artist Nettie Watt are on display. Video segments highlight the Seneca thirty-year protest to keep Cornplanter’s land from the flooding of the Kinzua Dam erected 50 years ago. The loss of the land during this part of Ms. Simas’ story evolved into her artistic modern dance now touring the United States.

“This installation is the first I have ever made,” said Ms. Simas. “I am primarily a dance maker. My work investigates how culture, history, home and identity are stored in the body and can be expressed in movement.”

For more information about “All My Relations: A Seneca History” or the upcoming curator led tour, contact Visitor Services at visitor.services@mitchellmuseum.org or (847)475-1030.

The Mitchell Museum is one of only a handful of museums in the country that focuses exclusively on the art, history and culture of American Indian and First Nation peoples throughout the United States and Canada. In 2012, The Mitchell Museum was named “Best Museum of The North Shore: Up and Comer” by Make it Bettermagazine, won the Superior award by the Illinois Association of Museums and was named a national finalist by the American Association of State and Local History award program.

For more information about The Mitchell Museum of The American Indian, visit www.mitchellmuseum.org or call 847-475-1030. The museum is open Tuesday-Wednesday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday- Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, students and children and Free for Mitchell Museum members and Tribal members.

 

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