Heard Museum: Henri Matisse and the Arctic Spirit

Project Overview

In this project for the Heard Museum, preservation and security were major concerns. The exhibit, running from October 29, 2018 to February 3, 2019, is a collaboration between national and internal organizations. Contributors include the Matisse Museum in Le Cateau-Cambrésis, France, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Museum of the American Indian, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and several other prestigious organizations. It was critical that displays provided both archival and physical protection for the rarely seen and unique artwork.

The exhibit includes striking black and white portraits of Intuit people painted by 20th century French modern master, Henri Matisse. Matisse is celebrated for his sensuous approach to color and composition. These portraits are a marked departure and are largely unknown to the general public.

Matisse’s portraits were partly inspired by and are being displayed with the group of Yup’ik (Native Alaskan) masks collected by his son-in-law, Georges Duthuit.

CK Valenti Designs created built-in cases to display the delicate masks along with cultural objects, archival photographs, film and ephemera. With Matisse’s 39 original works, the exhibition includes over 150 pieces in all. The cases were constructed in our shop and installed on-site to create a seamless experience for viewers.

“Yua: Henri Matisse and the Inner Arctic Spirit” is the public’s first and only opportunity to view this groundbreaking exhibition that explores the surprising artistic and spiritual connection between Henri Matisse and the Indigenous people of the Arctic. Learn more about this unique opportunity and purchase tickets at the Heard Museum.