Heard Museum to present rare Matisse art, Alaskan masks that inspired him
PHOENIX — The Heard Museum in Phoenix announced that its “Yua: Henri Matisse and the Inner Arctic Spirit” exhibit will open Monday.
The exhibit pairs rare works by French artist Henri Matisse with Native Alaskan masks collected by his son-in-law that inspired him.
The masks, often created in pairs, had been separated over time, and this exhibit marks the first time they have been reunited in over 100 years.
“The Heard Museum is honored to show these rarely seen works by Matisse and to share this extraordinary story with our visitors,” David M. Roche, Heard Museum director and CEO, said in a news release Thursday.
“Of particular significance to us is the effort this story inspired to reunite pairs of Yup’ik masks that, due to a variety of circumstances, have been separated by time and great distances,” he said. “It’s a thrilling and emotional experience to see them together again and advancing this type of scholarship is central to our mission.”
According to the news release, Matisse became interested in Inuit spirituality in the last decade of his life, which led to this collection of art.
The exhibit, which runs through Feb. 3, will feature a mascot named Henri the Husky to help children learn about the art.