Mary Hall: Madsen's Works Help Stimulate Conversation

Posted: 7/12/2021 14:32:54 PM Modified: 12/07/2021 14:32:26 PM I read that when coming to America, European settlers marveled at t...

Posted: 7/12/2021 14:32:54 PM

Modified: 12/07/2021 14:32:26 PM

I read that when coming to America, European settlers marveled at the beauty of the forests they found here. Immigrants assumed this was how things developed when in fact the land was carefully tended by Indigenous people, people whose cultures and traditions were not recognized by newcomers as of enduring value. Such an inability to see what was in front of them was a failure on the part of the New England Puritans, but also a failure of our nation’s entire immigration scheme.

Looking at the Gazette image of Doris Madsen’s print (“Arts Council working on apologies for the Biennale,” November 12), I think the print reflects the perspective of the newcomers who created their own group. Immigrants won out over those who were already there: newcomers from Europe managed to gain the upper hand; and it is usually the victors of any conflict who make history.

I would understand Madsen’s copy as acknowledging what is dominant in our national history while gently showing the cultural myopia of this narrative. I consider Madsen’s expression to be an art that can help open the eyes of those who have difficulty seeing. I am sad that some have devalued his contribution which I think can be used to foster conversations that are much needed and long overdue.

Marie room

South Hadley

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Newsrust - US Top News: Mary Hall: Madsen's Works Help Stimulate Conversation
Mary Hall: Madsen's Works Help Stimulate Conversation
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