Issues Background
Vol. 1 No. 1
Winter 2000
Winter 2000 Cover

On the Cover

When The New York Times recently asked the National Museum of the American Indian what object in its collection would be most representative 100 years hence, it provided a moment of reflection and contemplation for us. Surprisingly, in this acclaimed collection of more than 800,000 objects that spans a tenfold of millenniums, we quickly determined that a single 20th-century object is our choice. Maria and Julian Martinez’s circa 1930 black-on-black plate boldly symbolizes the vitality of Native cultures and the resurgence that few expected. For the Martinez’s San Ildefonso Pueblo in New Mexico, this striking pottery that combines ancient pathways and contemporary adaptation continues to symbolize a brighter future. It is this hopeful and very real change for Native communities that led us to place this seminal object of art and culture as the cover image of our new publication.