A pair of Yup'ik masks are displayed at right, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018, at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, as curator Sean Mooney shows the very same masks being worn by their creator, an Alaskan Shaman name Agyatciaq while holding his son Robert, in portraits taken in 1906. Nearly 64 years after his death, French artist Henri Matisse has become one of the few non-Native Americans to have an exhibition at the Heard Museum dedicated to Native culture. The little known intersection of one of the 20th century's greatest artists and the Inuit people is at the heart of a show opening Monday at the Heard Museum. "Yua: Henri Matisse and the Inner Arctic Spirit" will feature Matisse portraits, which have not been displayed in the U.S., and masks made by Alaskan Natives who influenced Matisse. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Museum spotlights connection between Matisse, Native people

October 27, 2018 - 12:02 pm

PHOENIX (AP) — Nearly 64 years after his death, Henri Matisse has become one of the few non-Native Americans to have an exhibition at a Phoenix museum dedicated to Native culture.

The little-known intersection of one of the 20th century's greatest artists and the Inuit people is at the heart of a show opening Monday at the Heard Museum.

"Yua: Henri Matisse and the Inner Arctic Spirit" will feature Matisse's portraits of the Inuit, which have not been displayed in the U.S.

The French artist will share the spotlight with those who influenced him.

Yup'ik masks made by Alaskan Natives, some of which were collected by Matisse's son-in-law, are just as much a part of the exhibit.

Curators say the Heard will be the only place to showcase the unconventional pairing.

The show runs through Feb. 3.