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James Nottage

Birth place or City of origin:
State of origin: WY
Last known City: Indianapolis
Last known State: IN
Start/Birth date: 1950
Death/End date:

James H Nottage, Vice President and Chief Curatorial Officer, has been with the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis, IN since September 2001. Previously he was founding Chief Curator at the Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles. He has curated or developed more than 100 special exhibitions. Nottage holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Wyoming and a master’s in Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program. He is also a graduate of the Getty Leadership Institute for Museum Management. Nottage has edited, authored or contributed essays to a dozen books and publishes frequently in historical journals and magazines.

James is a community associate, Indiana University/Purdue University, Indianapolis (IUPUI). Nottage was founding Chief Curator at what is now the Autry National Center in Los Angeles. He has curated more than 100 special exhibitions and edited, written, or contributed essays to a dozen books, while contributing to many other volumes, including Jewish Life in the American West (2002), How the West Was Worn (2001), and Powerful Images: Portrayals of Native America (1998). James authored “Saddlemaker to the Stars: The Leather and Silver Art of Edward H. Bohlin” (1996), and the recently published, Generation, The Helen Cox Kersting Collection of Southwestern Cultural Arts (2010).


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Special thanks to the University of Wyoming for Mr Nottage’s 2011 Outstanding Alumnus award, they published the following bio:

James H. Nottage - 2011 Outstanding Alumnus
Bachelor of Arts - 1972 - History
Master of Arts - 1976 - American Studies
A passionate student of the art and people of the American West, James H. Nottage is considered by many an expert in American Indian history and the art and material culture of Western North America. Nottage developed an interest in history and art of the west at a young age, even as early as junior high school. “I was fascinated with real things, objects that could tell me about the past and the people who owned, used, or created them,” he explains. “The process of studying and understanding things by examining their design, fabrication, and connections with larger ideas of human creativity and culture has stayed with me ever since.”
    
Nottage, a Laramie native, received a bachelor’s degree in History in 1972 and a master’s degree in American Studies in 1976 both from UW. Throughout his professional career as a curator and administrator, Nottage has played an important role in helping to expand or create several distinguished cultural institutions, including the Autry National Center, an intercultural history center in Los Angeles; the Kansas Museum of History in Topeka; and the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis, where he currently serves as vice president, chief curatorial officer, and Gund curator of western art, history, and culture.
    
Nottage maintains his dedication to the liberal arts and sciences by advancing public museums so that others might learn about diversity in American life through Western history and art. “The humanities provide many opportunities for stimulating careers,” he notes. “From them have come professors, judges, curators, authors, teachers, politicians, and others who have enriched all our lives and are far more distinguished than I.”
    
In 1973, Nottage was a graduate research fellow at the Smithsonian Institute where he focused on Plains Indian Art and material culture. He later earned a master’s degree in history museum studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program, the premier programs in the United States that trains museum professionals. Nottage has written, edited, or contributed to more than two dozen books and exhibition catalogs and contributes frequently to magazines and journals of Western history and art. A frequent lecturer, he also has served as an on-camera commentator in numerous documentary films about the American West. “Western history is not just about cowboys and Indians like portrayed in popular media,” says Nottage. “There is so much more to understand; it is about diversity of people, of thought, of environment, and of expression.”
    
Nottage acknowledges his intellectual debts to E.B. “Pete” Long and T.A. Larson and also to Herb Dieterich and Robert Righter whose passionate teaching inspired Nottage through his UW master’s degree program.

 

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