Published: May 14, 2018
CORNING, N.Y. — At the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, architects William Holabird and Martin Roche found in the glass of Tiffany Studios what they had been searching for: a piece that would provide a lasting impression to all of their building’s visitors. The architects commissioned Tiffany to create a series of mosaic panels for the lobby of the Marquette office building in Chicago, which were to depict scenes from the North American expedition of the French Canadian explorer Louis Jolliet and Jesuit father Jacques Marquette. The four-foot-tall frieze comprised of 12 panels brought together over 200,000 pieces of glass and 10,000 pieces of mother of pearl.
Though, with the gift of hindsight, something seemed amiss with the representations of Native Americans in the scenes according to Corning Museum of Glass director of education and interpretation Kris Wetterlund and Logan Pappenfort, historic preservation officer for the Peoria Tribe and a Peoria Tribal member.
“In that mural, there are pictures of Marquette and Jolliet’s journey down the Mississippi River where they interacted with Native Americans, some of whom were your ancestors,” said Wetterlund. “But, the Native Americans in the mural don’t look like your ancestors, do they?”
“No they do not,” said Pappenfort.
Watch the full video to see why. For more information, www.cmog.org.
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