National Museum of the American Indians
September 22, 2004 10:49 AM   Subscribe

The National Museum of the American Indian opened on Tuesday. Although generally praised, the occasion did draw some mild concern that some groups are under-represented. The museum occupies one of the last few coveted spots on the National Mall. Washington Post collumnist Courtland Milloy comments on the contrast between the opening ceremonies for the museum in the home of the 'Redskins'. And I can't resist throwing in a plug for The Eiteljorg (flash splash screen) which is the only other museum with a partnership with the Smithsonian collection.
posted by KirkJobSluder (4 comments total)
The museum occupies one of the last few coveted spots on the National Mall.

I thought I read recently that this museum is, in fact, the last building or monument there is room for in the Mall's original plan; something along the lines of, "The Mall is now complete," from someone high up in the Parks Service...
posted by JollyWanker at 11:18 AM on September 22, 2004

I went yesterday and I must say it was pretty damn cool. Not only did I get to shake hands with Teresa Heinz, but I saw individuals American Indian costumes of every imaginable style from North, South and Central America all commingling. The amazing sound of thousands of American Indians crying out when the ribbon was cut was not one I'll soon forget.

The Mall has quite a bit of space left as the WWII Memorial has shown, no part is safe from development. Besides, activists have thus far rejected any attempts to place the African-American museum anywhere else and in Chocolate City, their vote means a lot.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:01 PM on September 22, 2004

As an aside, Douglas Cardinal, who was the original architect for the NMAI but was subsequently dumped over money and deadline issues, is pissed off about the relative lack of credit he's receiving, and is considering legal action. Certainly the building looks an awful lot like his previous work.
posted by Johnny Assay at 2:26 PM on September 22, 2004

The opening of any new museum is a tremendous accomplishment, but not every review was positive. For instance, the New York Times, and even the Washington Post, which generally has had nothing but celebratory articles, also had this to say.
posted by gudrun at 7:20 PM on September 22, 2004

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