Opening to the public on October 29, 2018, and running through January 2019, Yua: Henri Matisse and the Inner Arctic Spirit will explore the surprising and little-known story of how Inuit people and culture inspired one of the 20th century’s most influential artists, Henri Matisse. Included in the exhibition will be works by Matisse that have not been publicly shown in the United States, and will reunite dozens of stunning Yup’ik (Native Alaskan) mask sets that have been separated for more than a century.
What is Yua?
Yua is a Yup’ik word that represents the spiritual interconnectedness of all living things and is essential to maintaining balance and order in the Arctic way of life. It relates to popular notions of reincarnation. The Yup’ik are Native Alaskans, and their name translates to “the Real People.”
(Photo: Courtesy of Heard Museum)