In May 2020 Museum Volkenkunde will open the exhibition FIRST AMERICANS, showcasing contemporary indigenous lives, art and politics in North America. Consistent with our emphasis on peoples and their experience, the museum will in this way contribute to the Leiden 400 events and year. FIRST AMERICANS will present the themes of histries, resilience, community and the future, with an emphasis on indigenous self-representation.
Works held by the museum, made by unknown artists, will be shown alongside, painting, print, photographic, textiles, jewellery, fashion pieces by living artists, some created especially for the exhibition. FIRST AMERICANS will showcase the creativity and resilience of indigenous communities in North America.
In 2020 it will be 400 years since the Mayflower, a ship carrying refugees from religious persecution and adventurers from England, arrived in America. Prior to this, the ‘pilgrims’, had lived in Leiden for several years. This historic event will be marked in a number of ways. Leiden 400 has inspired Museum Volkenkunde to organise the FIRST AMERICANS exhibition.