The Art Institute of Chicago has indefinitely postponed a major pottery exhibit weeks before it was due to open, citing concerns that the culture and voices of indigenous peoples aren't adequately represented.
Native American scholars against the opening say that much of the Mimbres pottery displayed came from one private Chicago collector who took the objects from ancestral gravesites.
The Art Institute said in Monday's news release that the delay came after officials were given feedback about the need to collaborate with "Native American nations who hold connections to the Mimbres people."
The Art Institute noted that while "some Native Americans object to the original looting that led to the collection of Mimbres pottery in general, the donor was never personally involved with looting and acquired the pottery thoughtfully as a scholar." They added the donor was "instrumental in the decision to postpone."
"Worlds Within: Mimbres Pottery of the Ancient Southwest" was scheduled to begin May 26. The exhibit displays roughly 70 pieces of pottery from the Mimbres people. The pottery was created around A.D. 1100 in present-day southwestern New Mexico.