In the opening weekend of Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe, join exhibition curator Kathleen Ash-Milby, in conversation with colleagues Bill Anthes (Pitzer College), John Lukavic (Denver Art Museum) and Christina Burke (Philbook Museum of Art) for a lively discussion about their contributions to the exhibition and publication, as well as the overall development of this project.
Kathleen Ash-Milby is the Curator of Native American Art at the Portland Art Museum. Her responsibilities include the research, documentation, exhibition and care of both historic and contemporary collections. Previously Ash-Milby was an Associate Curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in New York, where she organized numerous exhibitions including Transformer: Native Art in Light and Sound, with David Garneau (2017), and Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist (2015) with David Penney. Ash-Milby is a recipient of two Secretary of the Smithsonian’s Excellence in Research Awards, and she was a fellow in the 2015 Center for Curatorial Leadership Program in New York and served on the boards of the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective (2007-2012) and the American Indian Community House (2005-2007), as well as president of the Native American Art Studies Association (2011-2015). Ash-Milby was the curator and co-director of the American Indian Community House Gallery in New York City from 2000 to 2005. A member of the Navajo Nation, she earned her master of arts from the University of New Mexico in Native American art history and her bachelor of arts from the University of Washington.
Bill Anthes is the author of the books Native Moderns: American Indian Painting, 1940–1960, and Edgar Heap of Birds, both published by Duke University Press, and the co-editor, with Kathleen Ash-Milby, of the catalog for the exhibition, Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe, published by the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian. He has received fellowships and awards from the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center, the Center for the Arts in Society at Carnegie Mellon University, the Rockefeller Foundation/Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, and the Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program. He teaches at Pitzer College in Claremont, California.
John P. Lukavic serves as the Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Native Arts at the Denver Art Museum where he specializes in Indigenous arts of North America. He is the organizing curator for such exhibitions as Each/Other: Marie Watt and Cannupa Hanska Luger (2021), Jeffrey Gibson: Like a Hammer (2018), and Super Indian: Fritz Scholder, 1967-1980 (2015), as well as lead curator for DAM’s recent reinstallation of their Indigenous Arts of North America galleries (2021). He serves as Vice President for the Native American Art Studies Association as well as a Board member for the Denver Indian Center, Inc.
Christina E. Burke is Curator of Native American Art at Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma where she has helped acquire three major collections of Native art, and curated temporary exhibitions and long-term installations drawing from the museum’s extensive and diverse Native American object and archival collections and archival. She has also helped organize such traveling exhibitions as Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists (2019-2021) and Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe (2022-2023). Christina is particularly interested in Native stories from Indigenous perspectives as told through art, language, and material culture. Her museum experience spans over 30 years working at the Smithsonian Institution and the Heritage Center at Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota as well as at Philbrook.