Kay WalkingStick / Hudson River School at New-York Historical Society, October 20, 2023 – April 14, 2024

“This fall, the New-York Historical Society presentsKay WalkingStick / Hudson River School, an exhibition showcasing landscape paintings by the renowned, contemporary Cherokee artist Kay WalkingStick in conversation with classic works from New-York Historical’s collection of 19th-century Hudson River School paintings. On view October 20, 2023 – April 14, 2024, this artistic dialogue spotlights the ways in which WalkingStick’s work connects to and diverges from the Hudson River School tradition, and explores the agency of art in shaping humankind’s relationship to the land.By examining and highlighting contemporary Indigenous art in the changing discourse of American art history, the exhibition celebrates a shared reverence for nature and galvanizes critical discussions on land dispossession and its reclamation by Indigenous peoples and nations. This presentation reflects the vision of New-York Historical’s new Board Chair, Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang, to illuminate Indigenous histories in the shaping of America and is the result of a close collaboration between the artist and Wendy Nālani E. Ikemoto (Native Hawaiian), senior curator of American art at New-York Historical.” — New-York Historical Society

“I hope viewers will leave the Museum with a renewed sense of how beautiful and precious our planet is,” said Kay WalkingStick. “Also, that they depart with the realization that those of us living in the western hemisphere are all living on Indian Territory. These are certainly straightforward, even obvious, thoughts, but I believe they are concepts easily forgotten. It’s easiest to simply get on with our lives. We are all responsible for the health of our planet. We are all responsible to see that our legislators honor the many treaties made with the American Indians throughout our history and that Native rights are honored.” 

“Painting is a visual language. This is what my paintings are saying to you.”

Installation views of Kay WalkingStick / Hudson River School at New-York Historical Society, October 20, 2023 – April 14, 2024. Photos by Corrado Serra.

“As New York’s first museum founded in 1804, the New-York Historical Society is proud to be the first American historical institution to doubly honor an esteemed contemporary Indigenous artist with a focused exhibition of her artistic achievements and a landmark celebration acknowledging her stature as a stateswoman—through her artistry and teaching—of Indigenous heritage,” said Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang, board chair of New-York Historical. “In Kay’s paintings, landscapes are imbued with agency, through which contemporary Indigenous peoples and cultures exert their robust presence in history and modern society. Kay WalkingStick—long admired for her humanity, erudition, and grace—has been a trailblazing visual historian for 60 years, and we are privileged to honor her with the History Maker award in advent of Native American Heritage Month.”