The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has announced the acquisition of a grand diptych by Kent Monkman, mistikôsiwak (Wooden Boat People), created by the Ontario-based Cree artist as the inaugural commission for a new series of contemporary projects in the Museum’s Great Hall. The paintings—titled Welcoming the Newcomers and Resurgence of the People—debuted in December 2019 and will remain on view in that space through November 16, 2020.
Monkman’s Welcoming the Newcomers and Resurgence of the People were acquired through support of the Donald R. Sobey Foundation, CAF Canada Project.
“We are thrilled to share the momentous news that the Museum has acquired these ambitious, sweeping historical paintings by Kent Monkman, a Canadian artist of First Nations heritage,” said Max Hollein, Director of The Met.
“Monkman’s grand commission delivers a powerful—and visually spectacular—corrective to widespread, even systematic erasure of Indigenous lives, perspectives, and experiences from art history and museum collections,” added Sheena Wagstaff, The Met’s Leonard A. Lauder Chairman of Modern and Contemporary Art.
About Kent Monkman
Born in Canada in 1965, Kent Monkman is a Cree artist widely known for his provocative interventions into Western European and American art history. Considered one of North America’s leading Indigenous artists, he creates works that challenge the colonial narrative of European and North American history paintings and authorize Indigenous experience into the canon of art history. Other collections besides The Met that house Monkman’s work are the Hirshhorn Museum; Denver Art Museum; Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian; Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal; Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal; National Gallery of Canada; Art Gallery of Ontario; Art Gallery of Nova Scotia; and Maison Rouge. His work has also been exhibited at the Philbrook Museum of Art; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art; Royal Ontario Museum; Hayward Gallery; Compton Verney; Musée d’art Contemporain de Rochechouart; and Palais de Tokyo. Monkman has had two nationally touring solo exhibitions—Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience (2017–20), and The Triumph of Mischief (2007–10).
The installation at The Met is made possible by Marilyn and Charles Baillie and Rosamond Ivey, with additional support provided by the Hal Jackman Foundation and the Director’s Fund.