Laura J. Allen
Curator | Scholar | Writer
Based in New York City, I am the Curator of Native American Art at the Montclair Art Museum, bridging historical, modern, and contemporary Indigenous art. My interdisciplinary background includes anthropology, design and design history, and the natural sciences.
I focus on the material and natural worlds of the Americas, particularly Indigenous and intercultural dress, fashion, and textiles. My curatorial approach is collaborative. I strive to activate museum collections through (re)connection with communities of origin and inspire critically engaged museum audiences.
I'm a scholar of the Native Northwest Coast and Alaska. My research addresses themes such as material sovereignty, resurgence, colonialism, and the collection, circulation, and display of cultural objects and designs.
Recent Exhibition Projects
Selected Research & Publications
New Perspectives in Native American Art History; Univ. of Oklahoma | Nov 7, 2020:
"Northwest Coast Native Idioms in Midcentury Modernisms: Tracking the Sea-Bear"
Textile Society of America Symposium | Oct 17, 2020:
"An Uncommon Ammunition Case: Interpreting 'Transitional' Textiles
and Social Worlds in Nineteenth-Century Tlingit Alaska."
» Winner, Founding Presidents Award
Bard Graduate Center M.A. Symposium | Jun 12, 2020:
"Fashioning the Northwest Coast: 200 Years of Indigenous Dress"
» Winner of the Horowitz Foundation for the Arts Award
Native American Art Studies Association Meeting | Oct 3, 2019
(with Meghann O'Brien):
"'Ancient Couture' and the Northwest Coast"
Conference of the Council for Museum Anthropology | Sep 20, 2019
(with Aaron Glass):
"Reflections on The Story Box:
Remediating Franz Boas in a (Meta)Collaborative Exhibition"