Kay WalkingStick, Niagara, 2022

Kay WalkingStick / Hudson River School

Sep. 14, 2024 to
Feb. 2, 2025
The exhibition celebrates a shared reverence for nature while engaging crucial questions about land dispossession and its reclamation by Indigenous peoples and nations and exploring the relationship between Indigenous art and American art history, placing landscape paintings by the renowned contemporary Cherokee artist Kay WalkingStick in conversation with highlights from New-York Historical Society’s collection of 19th-century Hudson River School paintings.

Organized by the New-York Historical Society, Kay WalkingStick / Hudson River School places landscape paintings by the renowned, contemporary Cherokee artist Kay WalkingStick in conversation with highlights from New-York Historical’s collection of 19th-century Hudson River School paintings. This artistic dialogue showcases the ways in which WalkingStick’s work both connects to and diverges from the Hudson River School tradition and explores the agency of art in shaping humankind’s relationship to the land. The exhibition celebrates a shared reverence for nature while engaging crucial questions about land dispossession and its reclamation by Indigenous peoples and nations and exploring the relationship between Indigenous art and American art history.

Highlights of the exhibition’s more than 40 works include two of WalkingStick’s paintings that are directly inspired by Hudson River School artists; the artist’s sole landscape referencing the Trail of Tears (a journey her Cherokee ancestors were forced to take); examples of her early painted sculptural abstractions inspired by nature; and several of her most recent paintings—like Niagara and Aquidneck After the Storm—which overlay geographically specific abstract Indigenous patterns onto representational landscapes in order to re-assert an Indigenous presence long erased in European settlers’ depictions of North America as a pristine and unpopulated wilderness. Native American objects on loan from the artist and other museum collections, including woven baskets and ceramic jars, offer insight into WalkingStick’s source patterns and artistic process.

This exhibition has been organized by the New-York Historical Society.

Generous support for the Addison’s presentation has been provided by Katherine D. and Stephen C. Sherrill (PA 1971, and P 2005, 2007, 2010) and the Elizabeth and Anthony Enders Exhibitions Fund.

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Bartlett H. Hayes Prize Recipients

2023:

Reggie Burrows Hodges

Exhibition | Residency | Publication | Acquisition

2025:

Tommy Kha

Exhibition | Residency | Publication | Acquisition