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Jen Lavender-Thompson

The Fight for Change: The Participation of Native Communities In Museum Representation

        Museums can benefit from native community participation in the presentation of cultural artifacts. Between 1950 and the present, some American museums have shifted their paradigm from the more traditional depiction of indigenous groups, such as the noble savage, to one that fosters more meaningful representation, deeper relationships, and global understanding. With these changes, museums have begun to see the benefits of incorporating native community participation in their culture’s representation. The establishment of long-term relationships provides museums with the necessary tools to promote and maintain a multicultural world view.


       Jen Lavender-Thompson received her BA in Studio Art and Anthropology at Wake Forest University in 2000. Before pursuing her graduate degree at SAIC, Jen worked as the Director of Marketing and Administration for a small architecture and design museum.


Thesis Advisor: Nicholas Lowe, Visiting Artist, Arts Administration

Thesis Reader: Beverly Hancock, Curator of Education, Museum of Anthropology, Wake Forest University



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