Mining the Museum: Cigar store Indians facing portraits of community members of American Indian descent
The image depicts works on display in "Mining the Museum," a 1992-1993 installation by artist Fred Wilson at the Maryland Historical Society. In Mining the Museum, Wilson used the museum's collections to confront and challenge perceptions about history, culture, and race. It was a joint exhibition with The Contemporary in Baltimore. The items on display in this image include five wood-carved cigar store Indians facing a wall of portraits of members of the local community who are of Native American descent. The sculptural stereotypical depictions of Indians stand with their backs to the viewers and instead face the "real" American Indians whose portraits hang on the wall. In this tableau, the wooden sculptures serve as "portraits" of the cigar store owners who chose to display these sculptures outside their stores.