Native America has long occupied a unique place in the imagination of non-indigenous artists. Since European researchers arrived in the so-called New World in the fifteenth century, the “wrong” ideas about the natives of North America have spread to European visual, decorative and commercial art. To impersonate peoples of which they knew little, the artists of the Old World invented a visual dictionary to depict America, creating long-term stereotypes, such as "Indian princess" and "noble savage." Artists who worked in the United States at the end of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries inherited these conventions and adapted them to create romantic images of indigenous peoples that exist separately from the modern world.
The appearance of the photo slightly corrected the false stereotypes about Native Americans. Nostalgia for the “disappearing Indian” also prompted artists at the turn of the twentieth century to look for authentic American subjects in indigenous cultures, especially in the south-west.
This exhibition presents more than forty works from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum, which presents drawings, prints, watercolors, photographs and popular ephemera of the XVII - early XX century.