As many of you have probably already learned, American Indian Art Magazine will be ending publication with the fall 2015 issue. The publisher, Mary Hamilton, has been a stalwart hero in our field for four decades, giving members a unique forum to publish their research and scholarship about Native American material culture. The absence of this publication will be sorely missed by the field and by the Native American Art Studies Association. She has supported our membership over the years by drawing many of the articles from papers first presented at NAASA Conferences. In addition, she has provided free advertising for the NAASA Conference and contributed financially to the support of the organization. We honored Mary’s contribution to the field with a Lifetime Achievement Honor Award in 2001, but we want to thank her again as she brings this publication to a close.
Below is a note from Mary that is also included in the fall issue.
Kathleen Ash-Milby, NAASA President
From the Publisher:
Ernest Hemingway once said, “Write the truest sentence that you know.” Well, here’s the truest sentence that I know: This is the final issue of American Indian Art Magazine.
I have been the magazine’s publisher for thirty-nine and a half of its forty years, and during that time, it’s been an integral part of my life, from proofreading to press checks. For decades, I’ve hauled boxes of magazines to art shows and conferences, solicited subscriptions, and sought prospective advertisers and authors. Clearly, the magazine has become a way of life for me, and I will miss it.
Why stop now, you might ask. That’s a question to which I’m unable to give a definitive answer. But basically, it feels like the right time, especially since we’ve just celebrated a major milestone–our fortieth year of publication. That’s a nice, long run. Checking out our cumulative index (available free on our website), I’m astonished at how many articles, on an incredibly diverse array of topics, we’ve presented to our readers. If the magazine continued to be published, it would undoubtedly maintain the high standard of the previous forty years. However, there comes a time when you know, deep down, that it’s the right time to stop. This is one of those times.
I’d like to express my gratitude to a number of people who’ve helped to make the magazine a success. Many thanks to our 454 authors, particularly the members of our Editorial Advisory Board (whose current members have provided 141 articles for us over the years). Of the fifty-seven people who have served on our board, I would like to single out three:
-Norman Feder, who was initially an Editorial Advisory Board member, but in 1977 became our Editorial Consultant. Until his death in 1995, Norm read and commented on every manuscript submitted to the magazine.
-Harmer Johnson, who wrote each edition of Auction Block for every issue of every year–all 160 of them.
-Ron McCoy, who for twenty-four years wrote Legal Briefs, published more articles in the magazine than any other author (often on short notice) and who was always there when we needed him.
I would also like to acknowledge our advertisers for their support over the years and for the visual impact they gave to each and every issue. I’m grateful to the countless museums, all over North America and around the world, for working with us in our efforts to feature material from public collections. To our loyal subscribers–many who have been with us all forty years–thank you. (Over the next few months, subscribers will receive refunds for any unfulfilled portions of their subscriptions.) And last, but certainly not least, I would like to recognize the contributions of the magazine’s staff–always a small but mighty group, and never anything but thoroughly professional and dedicated to making each issue better than the previous one.
In the magazine’s inaugural issue, back in 1975, its purpose was said to be rooted in “an earnest desire to portray the art forms of the American Indian in a manner and format that will do justice to the art and its creators.” For forty years and 160 issues, the magazine strived to do exactly that–which is something we all can be proud of.
Mary G. Hamilton, Publisher