Public Lands, Private Hands Exhibition Design

︎︎︎Princeton, NJ
︎︎︎May 2019

Exhibition Depicting the Exploration and Exploitation of the American West at Princeton University Lewis Center of the Arts.

This exhibition traces a long history of exploration, missionizing, and settlement in the American West. It asks how such colonial projects shaped new territory for resource extraction. Generations of photographs from Princeton archives trace mineral resource development, the displacement of Indigenous peoples, and assimilation programs. Meanwhile, America’s seminal photographers journeyed to the West to capture its grandeur and collectors brought Indigenous belongings back to the East. This exhibition depicts indigenous artifacts owned by Princeton University.

The exhibition was designed in collaboration with a group of writers, artists, and historians from Princeton University. Artist Fazal Sheikh directed the collaboration. A group of 20 indigenous leaders were invited to the exhibition opening, giving a series of talks, panels, and live performances.