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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Thursday May 23rd 2024

Restoring George Morrison’s “Turning the Feather Around: A Mural for the Indian”

George Morrion’s mural “Turning the Feather Around” catches the warm autumn sunlight at its current position on the Minneapolis American Indian Center’s southeastern facade. Photo: Ben Heath


The Minneapolis American Indian Center (MAIC) is pleased to announce an agreement with the Midwest Art Conservation Center (MACC) to deinstall, restore and conserve the architectural façade created by the esteemed Minnesota artist George Morrison. The 17-foot high and 94-foot-wide Western Red Cedar mural, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, was site-specifically designed for the MAIC in 1974. This agreement is aimed to restore the mural, as President of the MAIC Board of Directors, Sam Olbekson, states “keeps with the artist’s intent as an outward public-facing original art piece on the exterior of the building with explicit Native design.”

An integral part of this agreement is to incorporate preservation-focused opportunities for Indigenous communities, as MACC will hire two Native American Conservation Technicians for six weeks in the MACC labs. The Technicians will work with staff to learn art handling and conservation and assist with the de-installation preparations. Chief Conservator and Senior Objects Conservator Megan Emery from MACC states, “We are so excited to work with the Technicians on this project! George Morrison is such an influential artist, and this monumental mural is a local treasure we are honored to help protect and preserve for future generations.”

MACC is a non-profit organization for preserving and conserving art and artifacts, providing treatment, education, and training for museums, historical societies, libraries, other cultural institutions, artists, and the public.

The entire project will be conducted over the next 24 months and part of the MAIC’s renovation expansion of the facility, adding approximately 21,576 square feet of new space. The facility is one of the oldest non-profit organizations in the region, offering educational, social, and workforce development services for Native Americans through the arts, cultural traditions, and intergenerational programs.

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