Catch the session “Who are the Real ‘Native New Yorkers’? A New Exhibition Has Fresh Answers,” on Tuesday, October 11, at the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums (MAAM) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. Managing Partner Jonathan Alger, joined by a Smithsonian team of Dan Davis and Elena Guarinello, will go behind the scenes at the new long-term exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian.

Can museum experiences challenge how most people see both New York State and Native people? Can a museum exhibition be a safe container to explore how American history and contemporary life are incomplete without a deep understanding of the role of Native nations? The presentation explores these questions, teaching attendees about the histories and cultures of Native peoples in New York and the ways in which the exhibit design enhances and is informed by its content.

Listeners will learn about the history behind common myths, the functionality of the blending of Native objects with interactive media, and the usage of theatrical design techniques in the exhibit.

Native New York

The exhibition “Native New York” follows a 400-mile path across five centuries, showing us that New York is—and always has been—a Native place. Partnering with the museum team on exhibition, graphic, and media design for this project in downtown “Manahatta,” the studio conceived the exhibition like a walk-in graphic novel, constantly in motion.