Museum Midday - Tongass Historical Museum
Join Ketchikan Museums on Thursday, September 2 at 12:00 PM for a virtual Museum Midday program with Megan Smetzer, author of Painful Beauty: Tlingit Women, Beadwork, and the Art of Resilience.
At a time when Indigenous cultural practices were actively being repressed,
beading supported cultural continuity, demonstrating Tlingit women’s resilience,
strength, and power.
Working with museum collection materials, photographs, archives, and interviews with artists and elders, Megan Smetzer reframes this often overlooked art form as a site of historical negotiations and contemporary inspirations. She shows how beading gave Tlingit women the freedom to innovate aesthetically, assert their clan crests and identities, support tribal sovereignty, and pass on cultural knowledge.
Painful Beauty is the first dedicated study of Tlingit beadwork and contributes to the expanding literature addressing women’s artistic expressions on the Northwest Coast.
Listen to Megan Smetzer's discussion of Painful Beauty on the Tongass Historical Museum's Facebook page.
Copies of Painful Beauty are available locally at Parnassus Books and directly from University of Washington Pres