In the Garden

In the Garden (Corn, Beans, Squash), 2003. Marie Watt (Seneca), b. 1967. Reclaimed wool blankets, satin bindings, thread. Museum purchase, 2006 (26/5807).

The title of this work comes from the Iroquois or Haudenosaunee story of the Three Sisters—the food crops corn, beans, and squash—and the strength and support they provide to one another when planted together. The intertwined strands climbing skyward also suggest the fall to earth of Sky Woman, and the interlocking diamond forms recall Native American star quilts. Watt is interested in the personal and collective memories blankets carry, and in the personalities they develop over time as they become worn with use, faded in color, and stretched out of shape.

Marie Watt (Seneca, b. 1967) is a multidisciplinary artist who describes herself as “half cowboy and half Indian.” She has degrees from Willamette University and the Institute of American Indian Arts and a MFA from Yale University. Watt uses a vocabulary of natural materials and forms that are universal to human experience and noncommercial in character. Formally, her work draws from Indigenous design principles, oral tradition, personal experience, and history.

Watt’s work has been widely exhibited and collected, and she has received honors including the Eiteljorg Fellowship for Native American Fine Art and awards from the Joan Mitchell Foundation and the Anonymous Was a Woman Foundation. She lives and works in Brooklyn.

Sewing Circle with Marie Watt
Saturday, September 25, 2010

Participants joined artist Marie Watt (Seneca) in working with denim and patterns to help create her next work of art.

Vantage Point: The Contemporary Native Art Collection

The National Museum of the American Indian
NMAI on the National Mall | Washington, DC