Rare Native American artifacts are on display at Fort Ticonderoga in the exhibition “The Art of Resistance: Selections from the Robert N. Nittolo Collection” for a limited time only through October 2019. These items have never been put on view before, and are from the Robert Nittolo collection, considered the most significant private collection of 18th-century militaria.
Objects include a rare Native American style bag with ornamentation known as quillwork and a war club that represents the distinctive martial material culture of Native Americans by the late 18th century. These items reveal the unique artistic vocabulary of Native peoples and stand as a reminder of the significant place Native Americans held in the conflicts that shaped North American history.
“This installation recognizes the significant role of Native communities in the fate of the continent, and encourage increasing dialogue between these First Nations and the descendants of the Europeans they fought against and alongside over the long 18th century,” said Matthew Keagle, curator, Fort Ticonderoga. “The artifacts and histories of conflict are the starting point for conversations that further Fort Ticonderoga’s mission to preserve, educate, and provoke an active discussion about the past and its importance to present and future generations.”
Fort Ticonderoga tells the story of the military experience of the early modern world, and the collision of cultures from America, Europe, and Africa that shaped North American history. With an important Native American history, this exhibit highlights the pivotal Native American role in the wars of the 18th century and the unique material culture and artistic traditions of Native America. Despite these conflicts, these traditions and cultures have persisted and are found across North America.
The item in “The Art of Resistance” are additional artifacts provided by the Robert Nittolo Collection. Last year, Fort Ticonderoga had on public display one of the rarest and most important objects from the nation’s founding – an original Society of the Cincinnati gold eagle medal, a priceless Revolutionary War medal. This piece is one of two surviving examples produced in Paris in 1783 for purchase by officers of the Continental Army.
About Fort Ticonderoga:
Welcoming visitors since 1909, Fort Ticonderoga preserves North America’s largest 18th-century artillery collection, 2,000 acres of historic landscape on Lake Champlain, and Carillon Battlefield, and the largest series of untouched Revolutionary War era earthworks surviving in America. As a multi-day destination and the premier place to learn more about our nation’s earliest years and America’s military heritage, Fort Ticonderoga engages more than 75,000 visitors each year with an economic impact of more than $12 million annually and offers programs, historic interpretation, boat cruises, tours, demonstrations, and exhibits throughout the year, and is open for daily visitation May through October. Fort Ticonderoga is supported in part through generous donations and with some general operating support made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Photo: For a limited time only through October 2019, rare Native American artifacts are on display at Fort Ticonderoga in the exhibition “The Art of Resistance: Selections from the Robert N. Nittolo Collection.” These items never on display before are from the Robert Nittolo collection, considered the most significant private collection of 18th-century militaria. Photo credit and copyright Fort Ticonderoga.